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You Don’t Need Extremely High IQ to Be Successful, You Need Self-Control

You Don’t Need Extremely High IQ to Be Successful, You Need Self-Control

Is self control overrated?

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, or wake up earlier, we’ll share with you the research behind self control.

You don’t need extremely high IQ to be successful, you need self-control.

Before we talk about the limitations of self control, we should first understand the benefits of controlling oneself.

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Throughout our lives, there will be countless list of bad habits that we’ll need to overcome. For some of us, it could be quitting junk food. For others, it could be avoiding procrastination when you’re trying to learn a new skill. Here’s what research has found.

Researchers from University of Pennsylvania explored self-control in eighth-graders over the course of the school year. They gave students a task in which they had the option of receiving $1 immediately or waiting a week to receive $2.

What they found was interesting.

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Students who decided to wait a week to receive $2 also had better attendance rates, test scores, and were more likely to attend better institutions. In other words, self control, was more important than IQ in academic success.

Another study was done by Duke University with a group of 1,000 individuals. [1] These individuals were were tracked from birth to age 32 as part of a long-term health study. They found that those with high self-control had fewer criminal records, higher income, and overall had greater physical and mental health.

Self control is not about forcing yourself.

The key to self control, researchers found, is not trying to increase willpower, but finding alternatives. What do we mean by this?

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Say you want to quit smoking. Instead of figuring out all the possible ways on how to break this bad habit, you should satisfy your temptation with… chocolate for example.

Researchers from UC San Francisco invited smokers into their test labs, and half were put in a room full of baked goods, while the other half got vegetables.

After awhile, they were asked to step outside for a break. When they returned, they found that those who resisted the baked goods were more likely to smoke during the break.

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Self-control is limited. Try stick to one goal at a time.

What could explain this?

The theory is that self control is indeed limited. Those that resisted the baked goods were in a form of ‘stress.’ And by resisting one form of a stress, they were much more likely to succumb to another craving.

The bottom line is, instead of trying to simply increase self control, admit that it’s limited. Rather than trying to kick two bad habits at once, figure out what’s more important and tackle it one at a time.

Reference

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Last Updated on April 1, 2019

How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

When we talk about happiness, we often think about staying happy all the time – every single day, every single minute with zero negativity. Many try to pursue this constant state of “happiness” as their ultimate goal, and avoid anything that may take it away from them.

But, what is the meaning of this type of “happiness”?

It’s a lot like your favorite food. The more often you have it isn’t always better. On the contrary, when you only have a chance to eat it sparingly, that’s when you really savor every bite. So is it the food itself that makes you happy, or is it how valuable it is to you when you are eating it?

Always remember that only by experiencing sadness do we understand what it is to be happy.

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Video Summary

Don’t Assume Others Are Always Happy

Most people see those who have seemingly perfect lives and assume they are happy all the time. Since childhood, we are conditioned to chase the idea of “happily-ever-after” that we see in fairytales. On social media, everyone tends to share only the best looking aspects of their lives. So, it’s very easy to have a distorted view of what “happiness” is around us.

In reality, there is always something missing, something lacking, or something unpleasant.

No one has a perfect life. Even the most glamorous celebrities or the richest billionaires have their own set of challenges and problems.

When we feel negative, we’re only focusing on a small fluctuating curve. As CEO of Lifehack, I’ve had to deal with countless problems, and some of them felt like real setbacks at the time. During those moments, it really seemed like these problems would be the life or death of my company and my life goals. But, I got through them; and, weeks, months and eventually years passed with many more ups and downs.

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You need to keep your sights on the extended curve.  Looking back now, a lot of those “really big” problems at the time now seem like only small blips in a long line of experiences. Recalling them in my mind now makes me smile!

Stop Trying to Be Happy–Just Be

It’s natural to want to be happy as often as possible.

So what can we do?

First, throw away the belief that a perfect life means happiness. Personally, I would be miserable if everything was perfect. It’s through experiencing the pains of lifelong challenges that drives us to care for others when they are experiencing similar trials. If life was perfect, you wouldn’t be able to empathize. If life was perfect, you wouldn’t grow.

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To be truly happy, stop chasing permanent happiness.

It sounds like a paradox. But, what I mean is to accept that there will be ups and downs throughout life. Gracefully understand that happiness is a fluctuation of positive and negative events.

Understand the importance of gratitude. Instead of focusing on the unpleasant moment, flash back your memory to when you didn’t have something. I like to think about my career, for example. When I didn’t have a career I was passionate about, I felt lost and demotivated. I felt like everyone was figuring out their lives but me. But, when I found my purpose and started Lifehack, I was deeply happy, even before I realized I would be successful! This memory keeps me going when I hit tough spots. It takes the darkness to make us grateful for the light.

Happiness and Sadness Exist Together

What it all comes down to is this: your life will be filled with beautiful, happy and incredible moments–happy tears and joyous shouts and funny stories. But, your life will also be filled with rain and storms that never seem like they will pass while you’re going through them.

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But, whether your face is warmed by the sunshine, or your heart is dampened by the rain, know that it’s all part of the ebb and flow of life.

Treasure the happy moments and power through the sad ones. Don’t try to avoid “sad” or “negative” experiences, and blindly chase being “happy”. In the end you will achieve a true level of contentment in your life, based on meaningful experiences and achievements. Being able to create growth and meaning out of both positive and negative events — that is the true meaning of “happiness”.

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