Doing Good Deeds Increases Willpower
This is awesome! Kurt Gray, a doctoral student in psychology at Harvard, explains:
Study participants who did good deeds — or even just imagined themselves helping others — were better able to perform a subsequent task of physical endurance.
“Gandhi or Mother Teresa may not have been born with extraordinary self-control, but perhaps came to possess it through trying to help others,” said Gray, who calls this effect “moral transformation”because it suggests that such deeds have the power to transform people from average to exceptional.
Moral transformation has many implications, he said. For example, it suggests a new technique for enhancing self-control when dieting: Help others before being faced with temptation.
“Perhaps the best way to resist the donuts at work is to donate your change in the morning to a worthy cause,” Gray said.