Plymouth Church – Biology of Willpower – “I’m Just Saying”


I had the opportunity to speak at Plymouth United Church of Christ  Sunday,  October 18th on  “The Biology of Willpower – How good people can make bad decisions”.  It was so much fun for me, and I am grateful for the opportunity.  Below are some highlights from our time together:


1) There are major health challenges in our community that must be addressed and the clock is ticking.

2) Pay attention to those processes that disrupt executive functioning.  Google Marshmallow Test (on YouTube).

3) Honor your purpose, and realize that we need your best you (remember the deserted island example)

THE CHARGE (Leviticus 26)

1) Do not make idols… as what you worship will increase, and “what you see you will do”.

2) keep my Sabbath days of rest… to help “remove the residue”.

3) show reverence for my sanctuary… to make sure you are “firing on all cylinders”.

RECOMMENDATIONS (remember the frogs:)

1) Nutritional Fitness; Vitamin D 2,000 to 4,000 IU per day, Magnesium (chelated form), Omega 3 Fatty Acids at 1-2 grams per day (combined EPA, DHA), consider tryptophan.  One easy way to increase your vitamin D and Omega 3 is to take Cod Liver Oil (I take Carlson’s Lemon Flavor Cod Liver Oil)

2) Identify some simple goals and start developing the habits that support them.  Should be in one of the categories of wellness (mental fitness, nutritional fitness, physical fitness, social fitness.  Track your progress, and whenever you complete a task, acknowledge that it it good.  Keep a list of those behaviors (habits) that seem to get in the way of your goals (must be very honest, and don’t be afraid  to acknowledge a truth).  Example goals and habits; getting more sleep, exercise, meal planning etc.  Layer good habits and the bad ones will fall away in time.

3) Develop a practice of mindful meditation.  This can start with just 10 minutes per day.  There are two practices during this time; breath/body awareness and imagery.  With regard to imagery, write the story as you would like it to be and end with a smile.  Remember the Oreo Cookie story.  As you increase your mindfulness, you will get more clarity about your specific goals, given that you are a born solution.


1) Share your thoughts with the talk on this blog as it is very important and helpful for me to get some feedback concerning this discussion; what you learned, what may have been unclear, how you will be different

2) Register at this sight and fill out the Citizen Report Card.  I am very interested in what the community looks like, and as mentioned by purpose and passion is to create a community of A’s

3) Incorporate stillness into your life, important for two reasons; helps to hit the reset button, and provides some clarity for direction.  It is suggested that you start with 10 minutes a day, and increase to 1 – 2 hours per day over time.

4) On the Citizen Report Card, strive for an “A” in Family Direction.  To do this you will need to have written goals for the year and a family mission statement.  Remember, where there is no vision the people perish.

5) Read the One Year Chronological Bible, this will help to put us all on the same page.  “I’m just saying” 🙂


  1. I had a great time at the Plymouth United Church of Christ seminar yesterday presented by Dr. James Blessman. My assessment of the Biology of Willpower -I’m Just Saying presentation was impactful. It was very helpful to understand what is going on in my physical body as I am making decisions, good or bad.

    Dopamine, endorphins and other pleasant feelings engender some good or even bad drivers that create motivators for decision making probably was the most impactful lesson I learned.

    I was pleasantly surprised at the biblical context that Blessman shared throughout the presentation. This, for me, is essential on staying on tract. My change indicators: 1) read the chronological bible, 2) add magnesium to my diet 3) I will add at least 7 minutes of intentional movement for my temple. It is my reasonable service.

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