Clear, Organized and Motivated

Preparing your mind for creative achievement in the modern world

Willpower and Game Theory

Can game theory help us meet out willpower challenges? Read More

Game theory of self

It seems a bit multiple personality like to apply game theory like thought experiments to self.

Using diet is a great example being so many have tried it, but when I was on my weight loss kick it was more of a pleasure of eating right NOW, vrs pain of not being happy with my appearance. Cheating wasn't in terms of future self as much as extra time it would take to reach my goals.

Now that I have achieved a very healthy weight, and yes dieting is harder, now the "pain" of under eating, basically every diet is a starvation diet by definition, is not worth the slight increase in appearance and perhaps health.

At the same time the lack of desire to go back to the way I looked before, or close to it, keeps me from over eating to the point where I'd gain substantial weight.

All internal mathematics are simply self though, perhaps its the same thing, but conceptually using future self as a separate entity just doesn't seem right.

The article is a bit hard to

The article is a bit hard to follow what with all the 1s, 2s, As, Bs and so on.

But basically, I find myself thinking optimistically about my future selves than I do of my current self. So I give in to my current self while thinking that my future selves will take care of things.

But when those future selves come into existence, they turn out to be just like my current, but not past self. IOW, current self and future selves are really just the same self at different points in time.

Yes, people do smoke one last cigarette, or pack, as they "prepare" to quit, but today is really no different from tomorrow and vice versa. If you, in fact, quit tomorrow, then you could've quit the day before (today). time like the present to...(fill in the blank).

Of course, if you're convinced that you'll fall off the wagon, start smoking again, or go back to your chocolate cake, then you are unlikely to start today or tomorrow or the next day.

awesome article

This explains every self talk conversation I have ever had. The only diet that every works for me is intermittent fasting because the line is so bright. Even one morsel and the fast is off so the bargaining is reduced. The other aspect is there is no exception creep. Fast two times per week. Don't fast on Thanksgiving fast on the Monday or Wednesday before. There is also no bargaining - well I only 1200 calories would it have been better if I ate 900 or could I have eaten 1300 and still gotten the same effect?

Here is where the math gets fuzzy for me with dieting where it does not get fuzzy with say finances.

If you spend less than you earned you will always have money left over.

Even if you go on the perfect diet and you eat perfectly at all times you can not control how fast or slow the scale moves in the right direction. People rarely lose exactly 1.5 pounds per week. They drop 10 the first week and gain 1 lb the fifth week when period hormones cause water retention no matter what is eaten.

Excellent article I emailed it to everyone I know and I can't wait to apply the principles in all areas of my life.

Thank You

Thank you for your comment, Megan.

I'm a fan of intermittent fasting as well. It does provide a brighter line than many diets!


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may quote other posts using [quote] tags.

More information about formatting options

Jim Stone, Ph.D. is a philosopher, avid student of Motivational Psychology, and developer of personal productivity software and workshops.  


Subscribe to Clear, Organized and Motivated

Current Issue

Let It Go!

It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.