Can willpower be a good thing?

Discussion created by VEGASLUCKYLADY on May 9, 2020
Latest reply on May 10, 2020 by maryfreecig

Can willpower be a good thing?


I'm at the beginning of my journey to recover from nicotine addiction.  I'm reading Allan Carr's book and feel excited and hopeful for my quit day. I love reading other people's posting on the EX site.  It's good to know there are people like me who understand the perils of overcoming nicotine addiction.  I'm amazed to read many people have the same fear of failing and overwhelming anxiety about stopping for good as I do.  I used to believe that no-one has smoked as long as I have (44 yrs) I thought I would never be able to stop, because I've smoked for my whole life, and my smoking behaviors were impossible to overcome.  As Carr's book says, nicotine ruled my life.


I've quit so many times before, I've lost count.  Historically, I relapse by the 3rd or 4th month.  When I think back about why I started smoking again it was for reasons that were insignificant, minor, ridiculous and absurd.  If I can relapse from simple daily life circumstances like being bored or annoyed, then how will I face more difficult challenges like anger, loss or sadness?  Reading about other people's experiences gives me hope that I can quit too.


I want to share a book I read, "Willpower" by Roy Baumeister & John Tierney (2011).  I understand the rule about plagiarize, but I have cited the work and have not included direct quotes.  I'm certainly not referring to the white-knuckle ride of forcing yourself to quit smoking by sheer will.  We all know that doesn't work.  However, I did come across some interesting info that makes a lot of sense to me.


Willpower can be depleted.  Concentrate on one task at a time like quitting smoking.  Don't try to diet, write that novel, remodel your kitchen or put in new landscaping.  All of these tasks can deplete your willpower. When you quit smoking concentrate on the task alone. You become less efficient at one task if you create too many, and, as a result, can fail at all of them.  Beware of making too many decisions at once because you will favor options with short term gains and delayed costs.  For example, getting heart disease from smoking.


Ration your willpower.  Too much in a short period of time will result in less resolve, determination and possible failure.