The Science Of Willpower - Deepstash

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The Science Of Willpower

  • To succeed at self-control you need to know how you fail.
  • The best way to improve your self-control is to see how and why you lose control.
  • Self-knowledge is the foundation of self-control.
  • Theories are nice; data is better.




Trying to suppress thoughts, emotions and cravings backfires and makes you more likely to think, feel or do the thing you most want to avoid.

Introduce yourself to you and you 2.0 (the future you!).

The most effective stress-relieving strategies are; exercise, playing sports, praying, attending a religious service, reading, listening to music, spending time with friends or family, getting a massage, going outside for a walk, meditating, doing yoga, spending time with a c...

  • The reward system of the brain is not what we think it is. We mistake wanting for happiness.
  • When it comes to happiness, we cannot trust our brains to lead us in the right direction.
  • Dopamine plays a role in anticipating rewards not in experienci...

Change requires doing. For your biggest willpower challenge consider the following motivations:

Willpower experiments: Increase self-control.

  • The pause and plan response is the opposite of the fight or flight response.
  • This starts with the perception of internal conflict, not an external threat.
  • The pause and plan response is also physical.
  • Keeps you from immediately following your impulse...

When your brain meditates it gets better at attention, focus, stress management, impulse control, and self-awareness.

  • An “I will” power challenge: What is something you would like to do more of or stop putting off because you know doing it will improve the quality of your life?
  • An “I won’t” power challenge: What is the stickiest habit in your life? What would you like to give up or do less of becaus...

  • I will and I won’t power alone do not constitute willpower. To say no when you need to say no, and yes when you need to say yes, you need a third power. The ability to remember what you really want.
  • To exert self-control you need to find your motivation when it matt...

Dopamize your “I will challenge.”, being mindful of your dopamine triggers. 

The self-control muscle can be exercised and made stronger.

  • Both bad habits and positive change can spread from person to person like germs.
  • Thinking about someone with good self-control can increase your own willpower.
  • Go public with your willpower challenge.
  • Strengthen your willpower immune system. Spend a few minutes at the...

  • Physical exercise, like meditation, makes your brain bigger and faster.
  • Studies showed that the biggest benefits can come from just 5 minutes of exercise.

  • We live in a world engineered to make us want. Pay attention to what captures your attention.
  • Daydreaming about unattainable rewards can get you into trouble.
  • The rewards system of the brain also responds to novelty and variety.
  • Our brain responds to smells, advertise...

Insane levels of self-control have pitfalls too, like:

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