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It was the actual act of taking the picture that prevented them from paying attention. According to psychological scientist Linda Henkel, memories can be shaped by looking at photographs. Memory researcher Daniel Schacter experimented with Alan Alda to Involving a picnic and what he could remember. They watched two people have a picnic, then two days later, Alda was shown a group of photographs from that picnic. Schacter asked him about specific items and their presence at the picnic, including things Alda hadn't seen himself. The experiment showed that Alda misremembered some of the stuff from the picnic, thinking that what he saw in the photographs were memories he had witnessed when, in reality, he hadn't seen them at all. That's the bad news. The all too sad and all too common pattern here is that we end up burning tons of willpower on stuff that at the end of the day doesn't really matter all that much. Sure, we may think that there's a lot of emotional energy tied up to these activities. There might even be a lot of drama. But if you look at the big picture, at the end of the road the vast majority of the things that we wrap our minds around don't really do much to take our life to the next level. The sad reality If you ever need one overarching example of the principle I raised above, focus on this fact: Most Americans work many hours per week. They don't really achieve much of the big stuff. As American productivity continues to increase and we're able to work more hours and seemingly boost productivity, at the end of the day we're just spinning our wheels. At the end of the day, most people are still stuck in careers that they are unhappy with. For decades, Cowper couldn't see God's mercy for him. He couldn't see his presence. He could only see wrath and despair. But I believe God was still there.

He appeared in the people in Cowper's life who steadily and faithfully loved him, even when his depression made him hard to care for. He was in the friends who would not give up hope, even when Cowper felt it had abandoned him, and in the friends who refused to leave him, even when Cowper felt they had left him to drown. He was there in Mary Unwin, who cared for Cowper year after year, who, even during her own illness, when her own legs were feeble and weak, would ask him to take her for a walk to get him up from the chair where depression had him frozen. He was there in John Newton, who encouraged Cowper to write and gave him a place in the church, who welcomed him, uninvited, into his home, who kept watch over him to keep him alive. He was there in his cousin Johnson, who took him into his home, who installed tubing in the walls to whisper words of truth and comfort into Cowper's ears, who strategically left articles out for Cowper to find, to keep him writing, to give him a reason to live. He was there in his friend Hayley, who rushed to his side when he was slowly starving himself and coaxed him to eat, who asked for letters from prominent religious leaders to remind Cowper of the effect his poetry had on the world. There are many people out there who love to post photographs on their Instagram from their vacations, events, or evenings out. But their memories can be significantly affected by the pictures. For instance, if you had been traveling with a group and decided to stay in the hotel room while they went to an important landmark when you look at the group photograph later, you may misremember that you were there when in fact, you weren't. You were in the hotel room. Likewise, a group photograph from a dinner taken while one of the guests was in the restroom might make you think later that the guest who isn't in the picture hadn't been there at all. A research paper was published in 2018 in the Journal of Consumer Research, stating that when someone takes a photograph to post it online, their enjoyment of whatever they are experiencing is lessened because they are more focused on the reaction the picture will receive. When we focus on digital media such as photographs, we lose the other sensory clues that help to invoke memories. With a picture, there is no smell, no sound, and no tactile experience that would typically help memories move into the long term memory. These sensory cues are essential for assisting with recalling a memory. The Age of Social Media At the end of the day, most people are still unhappy with their relationships. After all that effort and drama, people are still unhappy with their physical health. People are still obese, overweight, discouraged, depressed, or feel diminished. A lot of this, if not most of it, can be traced to bad willpower allocation.

If you're able to take hold of this problem and solve it, it can be the key that would enable you to live your life to your highest potential. Through These Small Changes The problem with people who try to preserve their existing willpower is that they think that they have S to adopt some sort of wholesale mindset change that will make all their willpower problems go away. I wish it was that simple. Instead, you have to focus on small incremental changes which can add up to a lot if you keep focused on your grand strategy. You have to remember that preserving your willpower through increased efficiency is all about the process. When Cowper died, John Newton said, What a glorious surprise must it be to find himself released from all his chains in a moment, and in the presence of the Lord whom he loved and whom he served! Perhaps you, my friend, are caught in the desolate wilderness of the not yet. Perhaps you wonder, as Cowper did, whether God has left you. Perhaps you feel you cannot carry on. Remember that, even in a story as tragic as Cowper's, we can look back and see God's presence. It was in the rescue of his friends and of his art. It was there in a faith that carried on through darkness. It was there in the moments of laughter and delight he shared with friends, with his beloved pets, surrounded by the flowers of his greenhouse. It is in the legacy of the hymns and poems and letters he left behind to encourage us today. Even if you cannot see it in this moment with your earthly eyes, God is working in your story as well. The vast majority of the population now use some form of social media. Older adults have learned to adapt to using computers and smartphones. In contrast, the current generation has been brought up around the technology, and it has had a massive impact on society and on the way people's brains work. Social platforms hold a popular place in today's society, and through these, people are keeping in contact with a lot more of their friends and family members than they used to.

Where once you had to make a phone call or write a letter to contact someone, you can now message them instantly. While there is nothing wrong with the increased communication social media affords people, it has led to other issues with relationships in general. Now everyone can see what you are up to unless you have the right privacy settings. But anyone who is in your contacts or friends list can see what you post, including photographs and videos. Several studies were undertaken through Princeton University, led by Diana Tamir, exploring how videos and photographs were taken for social media affected the memory of those experiences and the level of enjoyment surrounding the experience. In one study, participants were instructed to watch TED talks, or others were to take a self-guided tour of a church on the campus of Stanford University. It's not about just poking at it every which way and hoping that something will stick. It's not like you're throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping that one piece of pasta will stick. Instead, you have to go through this list and try to come up with synergies where little progress here can translate to inspiration and motivation there, which can then translate to something more tangible at another place. Do you see where I'm coming from? You have to look at this whole process of preserving your existing willpower as exactly that. It's a process. Embrace the process. Look at it as some sort of personal puzzle. Not only that, the more you try to work through this process, the more you find out about yourself. It really is a journey of self-discovery at some level. Follow Cowper's example as one who has walked through this unfathomable mine before you. Cling to the people God has brought into your life--and thank them for their care. As much as you are able, embrace the work or activities that will ground you in the present, tangible, earthy bits of life. Keep walking forward in the dark.

CHARLES SPURGEON Cling to the Promises of God His stomach twisted. So many had come. Thousands stood, pressing in from the garden's entrance to the Music Hall, trying to gain entry to the majestic building. There would be at least another ten thousand inside. The participants were asked to record their experiences in a variety of ways. They were instructed to take notes or photographs, record but not save it, and share the experience on social media, or alternatively, to reflect on the experience internally. Afterward, they were asked about their enjoyment of the experience if they had trouble with attention and focus, and they were then given a test regarding their memory. The study indicated that by sharing the experience on social media, it didn't seem to have an impact on how the participants felt about their enjoyment of the experience. But, those who shared their experience online and those who recorded it performed worse on the memory tests by up to 10%. As a result, the conclusion was that social media wasn't entirely responsible for impaired memories. Having an interruption during the experience didn't seem to impact either. Instead, it was the act of reproducing the experience in any way that caused a loss of part of the authentic experience they had. These results are similar to research that has been done on the transactive memory, how we divide information up between the internal storage, which is the information we want to remember, and the external storage. Until the internet came along, any information was shared between the mind and external storage. Keep the following ideas in mind. They should give you a broad enough parameter so you can come up with your own version. Everybody's different. Everybody has different experiences.