The truth about willpower

January 24, 2012

Heard a very interesting interview on Pat Kenny yesterday morning. He was speaking to one of the authors of Willpower – Rediscovering our Greatest Strength by Roy F. Baumeister &  John Tierney. The main points that i learned was as follows

  • willpower is like a muscle. Using it makes it stronger and overusing it can tire it out.
  • If you over exert your willpower muscle in one place in your life it weakens it for other areas. If you’re a goody two-shoes in work you’ll find it hard to resist that chocolate when you get home.
  • Avoiding temptation does not strengthen your willpower muscle, it simple removes the opportunity to practice restraint which weakens the overall strength of your willpower.
  • If you want to effect change in your life tackle one thing at a time. By trying to resist too many things you overexert your will power muscle and increase the likelihood of failure.

You can hear the rest of the interview towards the clicking on the ‘listen back’ button on this page. http://www.rte.ie/radio1/todaywithpatkenny/2012-1-23.html. The interview is towards the end of the 2 hours podcast.

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