2 comments on “Models of Willpower

  1. I notice that I’ve felt much more sympathetic to the depletion model of willpower when I’ve been wanting for a social excuse to explain or excuse failures I’ve had which could have been fixed by having more willpower.

    More recently, I’ve been playing with the idea that your revealed skill at the things you’ve done recently, relative to what fraction of your time you’ve spent doing them, is one of the most significant factors in determining how much willpower you’ll have. I’m certain that there are other important factors, too, but on the timescale of months, I’ve noticed that I’m trivially able to be a few times more productive when I’ve been spending most of my time doing things I’m exceptionally good at (humanities work, counseling), rather than things I’m much less proficient at (STEM stuff) relative to my friends, who are all much more technically competent than average.

  2. I think some variant of a conflicting sub-minds model feels correct to me. One way of looking at willpower is our ability to mediate the discussion occurring in consciousness between our sub-minds. A consequence of significant amounts of mind training, like through insight meditation, is developing a better feel for the existence of these conversations and as a result some ability to control/steer them. Culadasa’s model of the mind resonates a lot with me

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