Improving Willpower: How to Keep Self-Control from Flagging

TIME:

Why does willpower often seem to fail us, just when we need it most?

Some researchers argue that willpower is a limited resource that wears out, like a muscle exhausted by overuse. Other experts say that our will may falter only if we think it’s fallible: if we believe we have unlimited self-control, we do. The answer matters, of course, because the distinctly human capacity to temper one’s impulses is essential to virtually all aspects of success.

Research has offered evidence in favor of both theories. Early studies suggested that willpower is a finite resource, finding that when people are repeatedly faced with exercising their self-control while making choices, their ability to make good decisions eventually declines.

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