An Object at Rest and Ego Depletion


Put simply, Ego depletion refers to the idea that self-control or willpower draw upon a limited pool of mental resources that can be used up.

I stumbled across this idea my final year in the Air Force. I had been asked to come back to a previous position rather than ride out my final 6 months to retirement. During my intellectually unchallenging but massively frustrating, 365 day deployment, I managed to generate over 40 pieces for The Truth About Cars. In, fact writing was an outlet for a very challenging deployment. It was so frustrating that my time there ultimately led me to retire.

When I got home, I barely managed three. For 6 months. Then I retired and moved here. I should have been churning them out right? Nope. I managed 2.

What was the factor? Logic tells me it was stress. But I have been stressed before and still managed to stay on top of what I wanted to do. No, this was a whole new animal.

In the Air Force, I was simply beat down. I was given impossible tasks and not enough resources to accomplish them. Moreso, my coworkers, boss and indeed the resources themselves were my friends. Young patriotic Americans I respected greatly and they were all enduring the same pain. It was truly exhausting. I would come home beat and the last thing I wanted to do was sit in front of a computer and generate something.

But after I retired I should have had all the free time I needed, and a lower stress level. Which I did, but I stumbled across another unpleasant truth. I need a little stress. Without a purpose to wake up, I will quickly degenerate into Vampire status. Sleeping all day and staying up all night. I still hear the words of a comedian I watched in high school describe purposeless insomnia;

“The Failure Brigade; Dancing across your brain singing:”

What do you want to sleep for? You’ve got no reason to get up!

You’re doing nothing, you’re going no where! Nobody loves you, you sleep alone!

Then I started “working.” It certainly put some structure in my life, but not a check. Add to that a house we were remodeling, and our entire existence was reduced to one bedroom (Just like when I was deployed!!) Ugh.

Ultimately external factors spurred me to action. The “job” wasn’t working, so I elected to return home. The timing couldn’t have been better. My sister in law’s family was coming for a week. They needed a place to sleep and socialize. We went full-tilt and finished the work downstairs we had originally planned to contract out. New extra doors, trim, furniture, etc.

At last, I had an office again! A space to create!

I was so happy that I left for the weekend to a very rainy endurance race.

But even then it was a bit daunting. Like when you have to pee so bad for so long the muscle doesn’t want to let go.

But finally, the words came.

I finished this piece for TTAC:

Dodge Truck review

as well as two more;

Nissan Altima review

and a Porsche GT3 review I think will go over well.

Plus another document I am keeping on the Mac until I decide where to place it, here or TTAC.

Plus this;

So hopefully the inverse will hold true, and object in motion tends to stay in motion.


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