In order to survive 100 000 years ago, we had to find food, reproduce and avoid predators. Living in a tribe greatly increased chances of survival too. So stealing someone else’s dinner or girlfriend might jeopardize not just our life but ultimately the tribe’s life. Self-control was a necessity for survival back in those days and served us well evolutionarily.
We’re all born with willpower, but some people use their willpower more effectively than others.
Self-control is a better predictor of academic achievement than intelligence, a stronger determinant of effective leadership than charisma and, brace for impact, more important for marital satisfaction than empathy.
Anywhere you look at it, people with greater willpower are:
- More satisfied in their relationships
- Making more money and further ahead in their careers
- Better able to manage stress, deal with conflict and overcome adversity
Point being, we all have it, we all use it to some extent, and most of us would be better off if we improved our willpower.