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If you think you can, your willpower increases

Self-help best-sellers (“You can be anything you want to be if you [do this magical thing]!!”) leave me more than a bit cynical so it was with considerable interest that I read in the NY Times, Nov. 27, 2011 at SR8, about willpower. It’s hard for in-house counsel to slog through the final pages of a turgid contract, or to review the bill that runs into hundreds of thousands of dollars, to push for the conversion of data by the end of the month – to demonstrate resolute willpower.

The research described in the article disputes the notion that willpower has a set biological limit due to either the hypothalamus or your glucose level and that you can’t increase it. The authors found that those who believe that their willpower doesn’t face natural limits are much more able to push on and exercise more self-control. If you change your mind-set from willpower constrained to willpower unleashed, you will benefit.