Endless willpower is a lie

“Everyone accepts that limited resources must be managed, yet we fail to recognize that willpower is one of them. We act as though our supply of willpower were endless. As a result, we don’t consider it a personal resource to be managed, like food or sleep. This repeatedly puts us in a tight spot, for when we need our willpower the most, it may not be there” – Gary Keller in The One Thing

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It’s Monday. The sky is gray. There is a steady drizzle falling from the sky. After mustering up the energy to still head out for a morning walk, I came across this stuffed animal that had been left for dead. If this little fella didn’t sum up the mood this morning, I don’t know what could. Hang in there little buddy, it will get better. 

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*photo 11/5/18 -“The Green” – Charlotte NC

We’ve all heard the sayings. Old chestnuts like, “where there is a will there is a way” and Vince Lombardi’s famed, “the difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”

Will power on will-call is a lie.

Study after study shows that your willpower, and your ability to make good decisions, is a finite resource each day.

One such study was featured in a recent American Psychological Association article. It reads, “some of the earliest evidence of this effect came from the lab of Roy Baumeister. In one early study, he brought subjects into a room filled with the aroma of fresh-baked cookies. The table before them held a plate of the cookies and a bowl of radishes. Some subjects were asked to sample the cookies, while others were asked to eat the radishes. Afterward, they were given 30 minutes to complete a difficult geometric puzzle. Baumeister and his colleagues found that people who ate radishes (and therefore resisted the enticing cookies) gave up on the puzzle after about eight minutes, while the lucky cookie-eaters persevered for nearly 19 minutes, on average. Drawing on willpower to resist the cookies, it seemed, drained the subjects’ self-control for subsequent situations.”

Can you believe that?

Have you found this to be true in your life? When Designing Your Life, do you try to do so only during moments of peak will power? 

Do you try and plan your activities, like working out or a difficult task, around the hours when willpower may be more readily available?

What little tricks do you use to make it through a dreary Monday? 

Comment below!

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2 thoughts on “Endless willpower is a lie

  1. Love “Will power on will-call is a lie”. Especially as you get older, sometimes just getting out of bed taps out all my will power for the day. But when will power is low, duty and obligation can still be drivers as long as I can say “I accomplished something today”. Even if that something was just unloading the dishwasher or getting caught up on laundry. Will power is definately overrated, especially for a procrastinator who is also a procrastinator. Little counts.

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