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WillPower – John Tierney on rediscovering the greatest human strength
October 1, 2017

Willpower. Self-control. How to get more of it? Sometimes I feel like I hold the leash of the dog of life and sometimes I feel like life is walking me. So how do we reconcile the push and pull?

John Tierney, NYT bestselling author partnered with Roy Baumiester, leading researcher on the topic of willpower to dissect the 7 tactics you can use to strengthen your willpower; the book hit the top of the charts and hit them on a circuit to help businesses, politicians, and organizations around the world develop what they call – the most important virtue.

In this episode we cover common misconceptions of willpower, how tech can hold us accountable, as well as Tierney’s 7 tactics for willpower :

  • Small and attainable - small exercises to build willpower
  • Know limits - become aware of where energies are being sucked
  • Eat, sleep - understand the power of good health on willpower
  • Goals - monitor your willpower to increase it
  • Structure no distractions - cut out things that pull energy
  • Start with something simple - do the low hanging fruit
  • Track it - measure willpower to increase it

Think of each tactics as a new tool in managing your Willpower. John covers vivid stories and examples of people who have mastered these tactics including Thomas Jefferson, the founder of Mint.com and more. The stories gave me new inspiration to take control of my life and manage my time better.

If you want to apply these insights to your own life here are some exercises to get you going:

  1. Write down 1-3 activities in which you wish you had more willpower (10 min)
  2. List a few tactics you think would be most effective
  3. Listen to the episode and take note of which strategies you may want to adopt
  4. List 2-3 action items / things you’ve learned
  5. Now do it! Or schedule the action items into your calendar

Want more?

You may like our episodes on Deliberate Practice and Talent if you want to improve your skills.

Click to listen on iTunes.

Click to listen on Soundcloud.

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