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Self-control is not fixed

Self-control is not fixed

Self-control is not a quality that remains stable throughout a person’s life, similar to IQ or personality. 

A person’s level of self-control tends to wax and to wane over the course of the day. Self-control is less like a mental capacity such as intelligence and more like a fluctuating resource such as physical energy.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

  • Factors such as negative mood, fatigue and alcohol play a large part in self-control failure.
  • Previous effort is one especially well studied factor that decreases self-control. All else being equal, a second self-control attempt after an initial one is more like...

  • Self-control is indeed a resource, but a renewable, psychological one.
  • Goals that are motivated from within—for reasons that are personally important to us—are more likely to succeed than those that are motivated from without.
  • Succeeding at self-contro...

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 ... is the ability to regulate and alter responses in order to avoid undesirable behaviors, increase desirable ones, and achieve long-term goals.

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Willpower Depletion

It is the idea that we place our willpower under much strain and as we put in much more effort into anything, the more it gets drained.

The consequence of this is that the more it gets drained, the less self-control we have in order to res...

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Brute willpower doesn't work

So we should stop worshiping self-control and start thinking about diluting the power of temptation. Because resisting temptation either only has short-term gains or can be an outright failure.

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