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Willpower, how to understand and use it — the series

Most people know what they should do to create the life for themselves they want. Sadly, most people don’t do what they feel they should. They do what’s easy.

People who want to lose weight keep eating chocolate cake. People who want to build muscle skip going to the gym. People who want to manage their time better still indulge in wasting time.

Sound familiar?

A necessary ingredient to improving your life is being able to choose to do what you think you should when your emotions say otherwise–to skip the chocolate cake, go to the gym, and do the important non-urgent task, in the examples above.

You need willpower to do that. This series describes willpower and how to use it. As the next post shows, overwhelming research shows how skill with willpower correlates with success.

Click at the Table of Contents at the left to view the other posts in the series.

Willpower, part I: what is it, when to use it, and how

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

I’ll be starting what I expect to be a four or five part series on willpower. The series should give an understanding of what willpower is and how to use it more and more effectively to improve your life.

Everyone generally knows what willpower is. Some people value being able to use willpower to overcome great challenges. Some people don’t know how to use it at all.

In all cases, we want to be able to use it more effectively than we do now. I think understanding what it is is one of the best ways to do so.

Willpower, part I: what is it, when to use it, and how

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

I’ll be starting what I expect to be a four or five part series on willpower. The series should give an understanding of what willpower is and how to use it more and more effectively to improve your life.

Everyone generally knows what willpower is. Some people value being able to use willpower to overcome great challenges. Some people don’t know how to use it at all.

In all cases, we want to be able to use it more effectively than we do now. I think understanding what it is is one of the best ways to do so.

Willpower, part 0: The value of willpower

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

The ability to use willpower helps you more than you think. Much more.

Most of us think about willpower helping us to avoid eating too much chocolate cake, to go to the gym, to quit smoking, and the like. New Year’s resolution type stuff. It helps with such things, but it helps a lot more than that.

The problem is what we also associate willpower with — giving in to the chocolate cake, sitting on the couch instead of going to the gym, smoking, and so on after trying to exert willpower.

The famous marshmallow experiment and similar ones that followed best illustrate the value of self-control and willpower in delaying gratification. According to Wikipedia

The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a study on deferred gratification conducted in 1972 by psychologist Walter Mischel of Stanford University. A marshmallow was offered to each child. If the child could resist eating the marshmallow, he was promised two instead of one. The scientists analyzed how long each child resisted the temptation of eating the marshmallow, and whether or not doing so had an effect on their future success. Although the experiment has been repeated many times since, the original study at Stanford has been considered “one of the most successful behavioural experiments”.

That study found

  • The marshmallow experiment suggests the most important quality for determining success isn’t intelligence or talent but the ability to delay gratification. Children who were able to put up with temporary discomfort in exchange for a future reward are now more successful in almost every measurable way. (source)
  • Those who waited for a second marshmallow turned out to be more socially competent, self-assertive and academically successful. (source)
  • The boys and girls who waited even scored an average of 210 points more in their school exams [SATs] than those who didn’t. (source)

The New Yorker reported a researcher who conducted a similar experiment found

that the ability to delay gratification—eighth graders were given a choice between a dollar right away or two dollars the following week—was a far better predictor of academic performance than I.Q. She said that her study shows that “intelligence is really important, but it’s still not as important as self-control.

This study revealed something that predicted success in almost every measurable way, social competency, self-assertiveness, and academic success?

Amazing!

What can we do with these results?

What makes the results interesting is what we can do with them. I said the experiment was about self-control and willpower too glibly.

“What we’re really measuring with the marshmallows isn’t will power or self-control,” Mischel says. “It’s much more important than that. This task forces kids to find a way to make the situation work for them. They want the second marshmallow, but how can they get it? We can’t control the world, but we can control how we think about it.

How can we put ourselves in the small fraction of people whose ability to control how we think about the world creates success?

Typically, academic studies just show patterns. I’m concerned with how to use those patterns to improve your life. The next few posts show how to use willpower and self-control to improve your life.

Because if you learn how to avoid temptation when you want, you will have learned the same skills to create the world you want for yourself in life.

Next: an overview on this series of posts

Willpower, part I: what is it, when to use it, and how

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

I’ll be starting what I expect to be a four or five part series on willpower. The series should give an understanding of what willpower is and how to use it more and more effectively to improve your life.

Everyone generally knows what willpower is. Some people value being able to use willpower to overcome great challenges. Some people don’t know how to use it at all.

In all cases, we want to be able to use it more effectively than we do now. I think understanding what it is is one of the best ways to do so.

Willpower, part I: what is it, when to use it, and how

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

I’ll be starting what I expect to be a four or five part series on willpower. The series should give an understanding of what willpower is and how to use it more and more effectively to improve your life.

Everyone generally knows what willpower is. Some people value being able to use willpower to overcome great challenges. Some people don’t know how to use it at all.

In all cases, we want to be able to use it more effectively than we do now. I think understanding what it is is one of the best ways to do so.

Willpower, part II: what it is

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

Understanding willpower requires understanding emotions functionally, so let’s start there. A functional perspective isn’t the only way to view emotions — exploring and communicating how they feel is another, more relevant to art and music, for example — but it serves our purposes. I’ll stick with it, but I don’t mean to imply other perspectives aren’t important in other contexts.

Emotions, functionally

Functionally, emotions motivate you to interact with and change your environment. They also result from your environment, subject to your perceptions and beliefs.

Emotions are how your motivational system motivates you to respond through your behavior to your environment, at least how you perceive it and subject to your beliefs. You inherited that emotional system from your ancestors, who evolved those emotions and the behavior they motivated.

In other words, functionally, emotions are part of a system including your environment, beliefs, perception, and behavior.

For example, if you see (perception) a lion running at you (environment), you may feel fear (emotion), which will motivate you to run away (behavior), hopefully changing your environment to one where the lion can’t eat you.

If you smell (perception) dinner cooking (environment), you may feel hunger (emotion), motivating you to eat (behavior), hopefully promoting your health.

These are two very simple examples. You can understand any emotion any time through this functional lens. There are many other considerations, like that our environments changed faster than our emotional systems evolved, so, for example, we feel motivations to eat more sugar and fat than is healthy, but I’m leaving them out for now to focus on today’s main point, which is willpower.

Of course, the better you understand emotions, the better you understand willpower, but we’re looking at a forest level now.

Willpower

Willpower is the ability to act independently of or contrary to our emotions.

As an aside, though I don’t know what it’s like to be another animal than a human, I suspect few of them have willpower. Most of them, certainly ones with simpler nervous systems than mammals like bugs and reptiles, don’t seem to reflect on their actions or choose between alternatives.

Some properties of willpower

Willpower is voluntary and conscious — that is, you voluntarily and consciously choose the goals you want to achieve with it and to act on it. Emotions are different. Your emotional system operates unconsciously and involuntarily and it chooses your emotions for you. You can choose your emotions to a small degree so they aren’t completely involuntary, but compared to willpower we can ignore that small degree.

You generally have to plan how to achieve goals based on willpower — how to keep on your diet or exercise program, call that person you don’t want to, etc. You often don’t have to plan how to act on your emotions — you go to the refrigerator when you’re hungry even when you don’t know what you want to eat just to see what’s there. Few people who don’t already exercise simply run a few miles before starting an exercise regiment just to see how it feels.

Willpower requires attention and mental energy to maintain it. Emotions run automatically.

Tomorrow: when not to use willpower.

Willpower, part I: what is it, when to use it, and how

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

I’ll be starting what I expect to be a four or five part series on willpower. The series should give an understanding of what willpower is and how to use it more and more effectively to improve your life.

Everyone generally knows what willpower is. Some people value being able to use willpower to overcome great challenges. Some people don’t know how to use it at all.

In all cases, we want to be able to use it more effectively than we do now. I think understanding what it is is one of the best ways to do so.

Willpower, part III: when not to use it

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

If all you could do was act on whatever emotion was most dominant at any time, you would be purely reactive. You would not be able to choose your actions. Bugs and lizards are purely reactive as far as I can tell. Your reflexes are reactive.

So willpower keeps you from being purely reactive. Without it you couldn’t choose. Without willpower, thoughtfulness and reflection wouldn’t help you because you wouldn’t be able to act on them.

Some people take pride in the strength of their willpower — their ability to do what they want no matter how difficult or contrary to their emotions. That ability can help a lot if used effectively, but can lead you astray otherwise.

So before talking about when to use willpower, let’s cover when not to use it. I have two main cases.

First, when you aren’t aware of your goals, your current situation, or the path from one to the other, willpower can lead you astray. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere you don’t like. This point may seem obvious when written, but deadlines and stress make you forget when remembering would help most. You also forget your goals when countervailing beliefs distract you

An example of a countervailing belief is “no pain, no gain.” Few people would say they believe “no pain, no gain” without exception, but many nonetheless act on it as if they did at times. They choose to do something painful, thinking it might help. Your self-talk motivates you the same way beliefs do.

Another example of a countervailing belief is the belief that action is better than no action. This belief is often effective, but not always. Particularly when stressed, many people figure they should at least do something. Maybe, maybe not. In any case, this belief motivates people to act without awareness.

The second case is more subtle: when willpower will reinforce the beliefs motivating emotions you’re working against. Then willpower achieves the opposite of your goals.

How can willpower reinforce beliefs you don’t want?

When you try to use willpower and it doesn’t work you learn to feel helpless. Let’s see how.

Say you’re out of shape from lack of exercise and want to use willpower to go to the gym more. That means giving up the behavior you would do otherwise. Even if that behavior was just sitting on the couch watching tv, it brought you some reward and happiness and it resonated with your environment.

If you go to the gym, you’ll lose that reward and happiness. You have no guarantee to find new reward or happiness there to replace it. If you’re lucky you’ll find you love exercising or make friends in the new unknown environment.

You may not get lucky. Say you start going, full of enthusiasm and confidence in your willpower. After a couple weeks your enthusiasm wains, meaning you go not because you like it but based on willpower. You will increasingly feel emotions motivating you to regain the reward and happiness of watching tv because they are unconscious and take no mental effort to maintain.

You will go to the gym less and sit on the couch more. If you eventually give up, the emotions the originally kept you from the gym in the first place will have won out.

You will then find yourself saying things like “I’m just not a gym person,” “I tried getting in shape. I just can’t do it,” or “I can never get in shape” — tragically the opposite of your goal.

The same thing happens when you force yourself on a diet or any of the usual New Years resolutions. Many of your most fixed and confining beliefs may have come from conflicts between willpower and emotion where willpower lost. You have made yourself reactive again.

In a conflict between emotions and willpower, emotions will win in the long run.

In summary, using willpower can be counterproductive when

  • You don’t know your goals and you aren’t aware of your current emotions, or
  • If countervailing emotions have a good chance of winning in the long run

The seeds of when to use willpower were hidden in the risks of when not to use it.

Tomorrow: when to use willpower.

Willpower, part I: what is it, when to use it, and how

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

I’ll be starting what I expect to be a four or five part series on willpower. The series should give an understanding of what willpower is and how to use it more and more effectively to improve your life.

Everyone generally knows what willpower is. Some people value being able to use willpower to overcome great challenges. Some people don’t know how to use it at all.

In all cases, we want to be able to use it more effectively than we do now. I think understanding what it is is one of the best ways to do so.

Willpower, part IV: when to use it

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

Yesterday’s discussion of when not to use willpower — when you aren’t aware of where you are emotionally or where you want to or when you risk reinforcing the beliefs driving countervailing emotions — implies when to use willpower: the opposite of when not to use it.

So the first properties of when to use willpower are

  • When you know where you are and where you want to go emotionally
  • You are aware of the beliefs driving the behavior you’re overcoming with willpower

An example where I used willpower under those conditions was when I was getting too old to play ultimate frisbee competitively and I knew I had to change. A friend and former teammate had run a marathon and told me he loved it. I liked running distances of a few miles but knew ramping up to marathon distances would be hard. I also anticipated a good chance of finding the love for running my friend had.

This situation was perfect for using willpower. I knew where I was (acceptance of declining ability to compete in ultimate), where I wanted to be (enjoying distance running), and that I had few countervailing beliefs.

As expected, I found I loved running marathons. I no longer use willpower to run long distances. I do it because I enjoy it.

So the next conditions for using willpower are when the activity you’re using it for

  • Will generate its own motivation, or
  • Won’t last long.

Willpower works well when you use it like the starter motor in a car. You use a starter motor to get the regular motor going but not to drive. In principle you could use it to move the car, but generally you use it as a starter. If you try to move a car with its starter motor, you’d break the motor, drain the battery, and make the car unusable, just like what happens to you if you try to drive your life by willpower.

Examples of activities that will generate their own motivations are starting any flow activity, like reading, sports, engaging work tasks, writing, exercise, learning new crafts, etc; doing something you like but don’t feel like starting, like going out when you’re tired; and activities people exhort others to do — that is, times when people say “try it, you’ll like it” or “if you just start, you’ll enjoy it,” or things like when you’ve said such things to others.

Examples of short activities willpower can help with are introducing yourself to someone new, doing your taxes, washing the dishes, trying new things like a food or cuisine you never tasted, etc. Those things have ending points that aren’t longer than most people’s willpower can handle.

Using willpower for long term activities you don’t expect to bring reward, as we noted yesterday, tends to create and reinforce helplessness.

So use willpower for activities you expect to bring reward, even if they don’t at the start, or for small activities.

Tomorrow: how to use willpower.

Willpower, part I: what is it, when to use it, and how

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

I’ll be starting what I expect to be a four or five part series on willpower. The series should give an understanding of what willpower is and how to use it more and more effectively to improve your life.

Everyone generally knows what willpower is. Some people value being able to use willpower to overcome great challenges. Some people don’t know how to use it at all.

In all cases, we want to be able to use it more effectively than we do now. I think understanding what it is is one of the best ways to do so.

Willpower, part V: how to use it

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

How to use willpower summarizes the previous posts.

Use willpower either for brief, self-contained projects that you’ll finish before running out of mental energy to sustain it or when it will lead to rewarding emotions that will sustain using it.

You already know how to use willpower for brief projects.

For longer projects, willpower works best to create rewarding emotions that motivate you to complete your goal. Willpower doesn’t work well to complete the project. If you want to get in shape, for example, willpower alone won’t get you there.

Once I start working out, I enjoy finishing, so willpower works great for me just to start exercising. Then the emotion of enjoyment takes over. If you have a pie in front of you you don’t want to eat, use willpower to move to another room. Then you’ll forget the pie and won’t need willpower.

You can count on willpower to find activities you love that involve exercise, to find foods you love that are healthier than what got you out of shape, to find people who share your exercise and diet habits, and so on.

The big picture

When your environments, communities, beliefs, and behaviors are consistent, your emotional system creates rewarding emotions that will motivate you. Willpower works best when you use it to create environments, communities, beliefs, and behaviors that create the emotions you want. Then you don’t have to work at being in shape — you just do things you love and being in shape is a side effect.

Another side effect is that you end up living consistently with your values.

How to use it

If you feel an emotion you don’t like, for example, think of what emotions you’d prefer. Then use willpower to create environments, communities, beliefs, and behaviors to create the emotions you prefer. It’s that easy. Just don’t rely on willpower for goals that will take longer than your willpower will last.

Be aware that if you don’t start feeling rewarding emotions, reexamining your goals may be worth it so you don’t reinforce the you’re trying to overcome.

So use willpower like a starter motor that starts the enduring motor of your emotions by creating the environments, beliefs, and behaviors that create the rewarding emotions you want.

Willpower, part I: what is it, when to use it, and how

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

I’ll be starting what I expect to be a four or five part series on willpower. The series should give an understanding of what willpower is and how to use it more and more effectively to improve your life.

Everyone generally knows what willpower is. Some people value being able to use willpower to overcome great challenges. Some people don’t know how to use it at all.

In all cases, we want to be able to use it more effectively than we do now. I think understanding what it is is one of the best ways to do so.

Willpower, part VI: examples

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

An example of an ineffective way to use willpower to get in shape is to will yourself to go to the gym two days a week for a year. An effective way is to search for healthy activities that you love and make them a part of your life, letting go of activities you don’t like. Or to find people who live active lifestyles you like and spend time with them, at the expense of people who don’t live active lifestyles.

For example, I bought my rowing machine not to get in shape, although I knew it would do that, I got it because I knew I would enjoy the feeling of using it. I use it because I enjoy it. Being in shape is a side benefit.

An example of an ineffective way to use willpower to diet is to follow a new diet no matter what until you achieve its goals. An effective way is to find healthy food you love and make it a part of your life. Or to find activities like cooking or gardening that you love that promote healthy nutrition. Or to find things about unhealthy food — partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, high fructose corn syrup, factory farmed meat, and such — that make them unappetizing, in favor of healthy foods.

For example, I don’t not eat meat and avoid partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, high fructose corn syrup, and refined foods because I want to deprive myself of something I enjoy. I do so because I don’t like them. I don’t understand people who like meat and try not to eat it. If they feel like there’s something wrong with eating meat, why don’t they find reasons not to like it?

An ineffective way to use willpower to control your temper is to force yourself to calm down when you’re angry. An effective was is to will yourself to pause, walk away, or look at other perspectives long enough until the moment passes, you aren’t enraged, and you can enjoy calmer discussion.

For example, I get angry, forget to pause, and feel compelled to win arguments at times, but when I’m aware I remember how much more influential I am when I listen to the other person and use their point of view as a starting point. So I use willpower to remind myself how much more effectively I achieve my goals with empathy over reactivity. Then I act thoughtfully without mental effort.

An ineffective way to write everyday is to force yourself to do it every day no matter what. An effective way is to find out if you enjoy and learn from it, then to do so.

For example, I write because I enjoy and learn from it. It doesn’t take mental effort to do something I enjoy.

Willpower, part I: what is it, when to use it, and how

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

I’ll be starting what I expect to be a four or five part series on willpower. The series should give an understanding of what willpower is and how to use it more and more effectively to improve your life.

Everyone generally knows what willpower is. Some people value being able to use willpower to overcome great challenges. Some people don’t know how to use it at all.

In all cases, we want to be able to use it more effectively than we do now. I think understanding what it is is one of the best ways to do so.

Willpower, part VII: what to do with your old motivations

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

Say you’re using willpower effectively — you know what you want to achieve and you know once you will yourself get started, emotions will kick in and help you finish.

What about the old emotions motivating you to sit on the couch instead of exercise, to eat the pie instead of the carrots, or to yell in anger instead of thoughtfully consider your next actions? If they linger, you may find yourself at the starting point again.

Again there are effective and ineffective ways to deal with old emotions.

An ineffective way to deal with them is to try not to think about them. It’s like trying to follow the command “don’t think about a pink elephant.” Your mind makes what you’re trying to avoid thinking about its most important thought. Trying not to think something works against you.

An effective way to deal with them is to crowd them out. If you don’t want to think about pink elephants, think about anything else. Better, start reading a book or start a conversation with a friend. If you don’t want to think about an itch, start cooking dinner or start lifting weights. If you want to stop craving the cookies you don’t want to eat, go for a run or start writing in your journal.

Your mind will occupy itself with what in its environment presents itself. Since “not pink elephant” includes “pink elephant,” thinking “not pink elephant” puts pink elephants in your mental environment. Talking with friends doesn’t include pink elephants, so talking with friends will crowd pink elephants from your mind.

In summary, pushing against emotions rarely helps overcome then. It tends to reinforce them. Crowding them out with other thoughts and emotions crowds them out.

Willpower, part I: what is it, when to use it, and how

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

I’ll be starting what I expect to be a four or five part series on willpower. The series should give an understanding of what willpower is and how to use it more and more effectively to improve your life.

Everyone generally knows what willpower is. Some people value being able to use willpower to overcome great challenges. Some people don’t know how to use it at all.

In all cases, we want to be able to use it more effectively than we do now. I think understanding what it is is one of the best ways to do so.

Willpower, part VIII: images of temptation

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

Here is some footage of a remake of the marshmallow experiment I found online. I prefer the stills below to the video they came from.

I find the video missed the point and unhelpful. It shows very cute images of very cute kids. Something didn’t sit well with me. I think the music tipped me off that the point of the video wasn’t to help people develop willpower. It’s cutesy.

Finally I realized what was missing. Look at the pictures and watch the video below and see if you can tell what they missed. I’ll show what I consider missing tomorrow.













































Willpower, part I: what is it, when to use it, and how

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

I’ll be starting what I expect to be a four or five part series on willpower. The series should give an understanding of what willpower is and how to use it more and more effectively to improve your life.

Everyone generally knows what willpower is. Some people value being able to use willpower to overcome great challenges. Some people don’t know how to use it at all.

In all cases, we want to be able to use it more effectively than we do now. I think understanding what it is is one of the best ways to do so.

Willpower, part 9: an image of how to use willpower

[This post is part of a series on willpower and how to understand and use it. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]

Yesterday’s post showed some delightful images of children and marshmallows from a video of the marshmallow experiment. If you want to see cute images and hear cute music, the video is great.

If you want to improve your willpower, the video doesn’t help much. It shows people struggling to use willpower, so you can empathize with them, all the more since children haven’t learned to hide their struggles as well, and they’re on hidden camera. If that helps you, great.

A major lesson the author of the experiment described was that a successful strategy to avoid eating the marshmallow was not to look at it and to find ways of thinking of other things. My advice is similar. The video shows kids looking at and fixating on the marshmallow — exactly what not to do. The video looks cute, but shows how to give in to temptation.

The best way to use willpower is to remove the need for willpower. The picture below shows how to use willpower. Think of this question while looking at it:

One person is leaving the room with the marshmallow to do other things. The other is staying in the room, sitting on a chair facing the marshmallow, mere inches from their face. Which one do you think will more easily not eat it?

If you want to avoid temptation, use willpower effectively. Don’t fixate on what you want to avoid, using as much willpower as possible. Use a little willpower at first to remove the need for it later. Walking out of the room and doing other things (in this case literally, but figuratively for other situations) works best.

If you want to struggle, use nothing but brute-force willpower, but prepare yourself for failure.

If you want results, use a little willpower at first so you don’t have to later.