Wednesday, 14 September 2011

"Can you lend me some Ego, please?"

With Time on the X-axis and Schedule/Activities on the other, my trend line is creeping forward steadily and visibly starting to settle down into a less wavering, recurring pattern and pace. By the time my feet carry me out of the artificial human habitat, my brain's propensity to decide or think over things is cranky. And god forbid if i ask it to make a choice. The tantrum is enough to make me succumb to the most default option. Recently, i discovered that this phenomena has got a name too - 'Decision Fatigue'.

Wiki defines it as "the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual, after a long session of decision making." To understand it better, we need to link this to yet another psychological occurrence regarded as 'Ego Depletion' which is explained as the "idea that self control or willpower is an exhaustible resource that can be used up. When that energy is low, mental activity that requires self-control is impaired. In other words, using one's self-control impairs the ability to control one's self later on." So to say, that mental energy or 'will power' is an exhaustible resource. Like a commodity, finite quantity of which we commence our morning and have to make do with through the day, lest we collapse even before the moon winks at us. Its stock tends to vary with the person's belief in their own reserve of this power, but limited it is.

If we join these two, we might as well get a perfect sphere. Suddenly, daily universal snippets like impulse buying, snapping at a friend without his/her fault, the decision of deciding a place for dinner outside weighing as heavily on our mind as an algebraic equation, "Whatever you decide man, i'm cool", etc. start acquiring a basis.
You see, for every decision we make, we pay a biological price for it. Only a machine is expected to dish out consistently perfect decisions (or solutions/output), ceteris paribus. Each decision we make, consumes a proportionate portion of our mental energy and correspondingly, makes each consequent decision, an uphill, irksome task. Gasping for breath (sometimes literally), our mind starts resorting to shortcuts (to make its life easier) which generally translate into two actions, a fork in the path - either to become brash and heedless OR simply do nothing more and let everything be.

Thanks to our never tiring researchers, we can have a pit stop during these high energy decision making periods - Chocolates. The reasoning is that the sweet dandy will flood your brain with glucose, providing you with a new supply of 'will power' to work from. Studies have also shown to refresh the willpower levels following a small, positive event like a hug from a loved one, a pleasant surprise, etc. It still faces skepticism, but is breather worth considering owing to the other positives attached with such happenings, universally.

Heck, all that typing is making me hazy. I think my Ego is Depleting. Can you lend me some?

The song for tonight, "Truenorth" by 'No Man' is one to lull your mind and save your ego levels...deep breath..

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