Willpower can be defined as an ability to control oneself or resist instant gratification to be able to attain long-term goals. Other terms for willpower include self-control, self-discipline, and determination. Overall willpower plays an important role in various aspects of life. It is very important in goal setting and reaching and can even be an indicator of intelligence. The psychologist Walter Mischel conducted a study known as the Marshmellow test. During this study, he studied the correlation between willpower and future success. This study was conducted using preschool-aged children, who were brought into a room with a table that had a bowl of marshmallows on it. The children were instructed that they could either eat one marshmallow now or wait 15 minutes and they then could get two marshmallows. The children who waited 15 minutes to receive the two marshmallows showed what is known as delayed gratification, in which they were able to wait a longer period of time in order to receive a higher reward. Years later the children were followed into their adolescence and researchers determined that the children who had waited the 15 minutes for the marshmallows showed higher levels of self-esteem, higher SAT scores, were able to manage their stress more effectively, and were better performing students. Overall this demonstrates how the children that had the willpower to wait the extra time for a higher reward had the willpower to become successful in school as well.
More so, according to research, it is also believed that the benefits of willpower are also important in adulthood as well. Especially when it comes to the use of drugs and alcohol. Research shows that people with higher rates of willpower and self-control are less likely to have substance abuse problems and more likely to have fewer mental health problems. Despite some controversy on whether or not willpower can be strengthened, researchers were able to find that willpower and self-control were skills that can be learned and strengthened. It is believed that in order to strengthen willpower it is important to exercise your willpower. Another important thing to do to strengthen willpower is to get enough sleep and also meditate. It is found that mediation is very beneficial in strengthening willpower. Lastly, it is also important to avoid temptations in order to increase willpower and self-control. A good way to avoid temptations is to remove them from your life or eyesight, it will get you to focus on other more important things.
Cherry, K. (2021, April 28). More willpower in your life could make you more successful. Verywell Mind. Retrieved July 19, 2022, from https://www.verywellmind.com/willpower-101-the-psychology-of-self-control-2795041