Is It Possible To Have Infinite Willpower?

Fundamentally, we give up on tasks that don’t engage us, not because our willpower becomes depleted. 

Have We Been Thinking About Willpower the Wrong Way for 30 Years?
by Nir Eyal (@nireyal)

Tips & Tricks:

What we currently believe:

  • The (old) theory is that willpower is connected to a limited reserve of mental energy, and once we run out of that energy, we’re more likely to lose self-control. This is the ego depletion hypothesis.

Why you shouldn’t subscribe to the ego depletion hypothesis:

  1. Because it gives you an easy reason to quit or slack off when you feel you don’t want to work.
  2. Belief drives our behavior. If you believe your will power can be depleted, it is more likely to happen.

What you should think about instead.

  1. Willpower is like an emotion. It has highs and lows, depending on our environment and mood.
  2. Lack of willpower might just be a temporary state. Ride it out so that you can finish that difficult task. Don’t quit just because you feel like it.
  3. Listen to your willpower. If your mental energy is waning and you’re getting out of focus too often, that’s the time to take a break.

By considering our willpower as an emotion rather than a resource that becomes depleted – as a helpful decision-making assistant working in concert with our logical capabilities – we can find new paths.

Maybe willpower isn’t what’s keeping you from getting things done. Here’s the real reason why you’re not finishing your to-do list.

  • WebBluster

    Nice article. loved it Would love to see more articles about will power.