I recently read an interesting article about what the author described as “The Willpower Instinct” and it got me thinking about how it applies more broadly. I would describe it as us all experiencing an internal joust between our “now-self” and our “future-self” at various moments in our lives. This is in essence the nature of our struggle with willpower. Now-self is about #YOLO #FOMO and wants to experience things immediately, only do the fun and easy stuff, and not think about the consequences. Future-self is the level-headed long-term-thinking you that knows all about the consequences stemming from your now behaviours, and doesn’t want to misbehave for fear of those future ramifications. Put another way, willpower is really the measure of our ability to do something that’s good for and beneficial to us, but for whatever reason is difficult for us to do.
I have identified the four most common willpower battles that I know I am regularly drawn into. Sometimes I lose the fight, but I like to think I have built up some learned tricks in the arsenal so each time that same duel arises (which it certainly will), my future-self will have a better chance at conquest.