In my recent foraging of the Internet for nerdy easter eggs, I stumbled across three delightful TED talks. They tackle this notion of willpower (and why and how it is that humans are notoriously terrible at mastering it) from each of their disciplinary lenses: Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist; Kelly McGonigal, a psychologist; and Jordan Silberman, a neuroeconomist.

Individually, they each make strong arguments and leave the viewer with a couple open questions that prompt further inquiry… but when you put them next to each other, you can come away with a more nuanced and holistic perspective of how willpower works and with a rich toolkit to use in the future, to help you follow-through on personal or professional long-term goals that are otherwise hard to achieve because the short-term consequences involve unpleasant or less-than-fun experiences.

Anyways, I’d highly recommend all three TED talks, and am pleased (as always) to share these as an opportunity for others to connect the dots for themselves and engage in interdisciplinary thinking.

Dan Ariely – On Self-Control (Behavioral Economics)

Kelly McGonigal – The Science of Willpower (Psychology)

Jordan Silberman – A Workout for Your Self-Control (Neuroeconomist)

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