“To resist a compulsion with willpower alone is to hold back an avalanche by melting the snow with a candle. It just keeps coming and coming and coming.”
― David Adam, The Man Who Couldn’t Stop
Believe it or not, both good habits & bad habits increase with compound interests. This is why the direction you choose to take every day has an infinite amount of importance.
Every strategic move you make now, will add to your victories later.
Willpower is a limited resource and the best way to increase it isn’t by constantly resisting temptation, it’s about turning your disadvantages into advantages by skillfully managing your self-control.
Willpower is the single most overlooked component when it comes to achieving your goals. Why? Because it’s those non-goal related desires that could be potentially draining your willpower.
In a study conducted by Roy Baumeister on Willpower Depletion, he brought a group of individuals into a room where there was a table with freshly baked cookies & another table with radishes. Half of the group were instructed to try the freshly baked cookies & the other half were asked to try the radishes.
After the quick snack, each subject were given 30 minutes to finish a mentally demanding geometric puzzle. Baumeister uncovered that the individuals who had eaten the radishes gave up on the puzzle after about 8 minutes, while the people who ate cookies persevered for about 19 minutes on average.
While the idea of enjoying freshly baked cookies can be considered quite nominal when it comes to success. It does speak to a deeper, more prevalent issue that most people have with Willpower: which is self-regulation, delayed gratification and stimulus control.
With Willpower Depletion being a scientifically proven occurrence, one of the more feasible solutions to constantly resisting compulsions, would be to restructure your ‘Hot/Cool System’. A process in which you engage in cool behaviors & eliminate your hot triggers.