Strengthen Your Willpower

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October 25, 2011


Interview with John Tierney, author of the book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength




Mike Carruthers:
How strong is your willpower? It’s definitely a question worth exploring.


John Tierney:
People will stronger willpower they do better in school and at work, they’re healthier and wealthier, they’re happier, their personal relationships are better, their children are more likely to thrive.

John Tierney

John Tierney, author of the book Willpower, says your willpower is not set in stone.


Some famous experiments by my co-author Roy Baumeister have shown that willpower is like a muscle that, now there may be a genetic component to it but it’s also something you can strengthen – it gets fatigued during the day as you use it like a muscle. But over time you can increase your stamina through regular exercise.


In one experiment students were asked to use their willpower and sit up straight for 1 week.


Well they found that that simple exercise of having to do self-control , when they would come back to the laboratory and do all kinds of other tasks that had nothing to do with posture they were better at it because it strengthens that self-control muscle.


One of the reasons dieters have so much trouble sticking to their diet is because willpower is powered by glucose in your system.


And so dieters face this dilemma that in order not to eat you need willpower but in order to have willpower you need to eat. So what you need to do is don’t starve yourself altogether because then you really do run out of self-control. You want to get a steady supply of glucose during the day.


To hear the complete unedited interview, click here



  • Length: 1:44 minutes (1.58 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
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