6 Answers

  1. William James, one of the fathers of psychology in general as a science and the American school in particular, once gave the definition of will (definition is a property of an object that is inherent in it throughout the entire period of development).

    So, the key characteristic of the will, according to James (this was later recalled and developed by the Russian author A. N. Leontiev), is the ability to control attention arbitrarily; that is, to direct, hold and switch consciously, and not automatically.

    In accordance with this, willpower is a certain margin within which the subject can afford such arbitrary control of his attention; this also includes “resistance to temptation”.

    After all, thinking “technically” (psychologically) – what is this resistance? It is simply a matter of diverting attention from the directly tempting stimuli and devoting it to something else. As in the famous experiment, if I'm not confused, Albert Bandura-children were tested for this willpower, offering to sit in a room with candy on the condition that they do not eat it and later get a lot of candy.

    Children with a pronounced “willpower” – just kept in mind the image of future benefits and directed active attention to it, and actually paid attention to the candy in front of them only passively, as part of the environment.

    Well, so, any practices and techniques aimed at training attention (that is, its control), in any case, train the will. Meditation is the same, for example.

    But these methods should be considered only as a separate exercise, by analogy with the “base” in bodybuilding – since the will is most often of functional interest to us, then it is necessary to apply it in broader situations (at work, etc.).

  2. First, I will try to define what “will” is without excessive scholasticism and sophistry (I will not express myself in this way anymore), and then we will discuss the question of “willpower” and the possibility of its training.

    “Will” is the ability of a person to take physical and mental actions at will and discretion. For example, the decision to take a sleeping pill is a manifestation of will, and the subsequent mental state (if the sleeping pill is strong) is not a manifestation of will, because the person can no longer influence the course of events.

    “Willpower” – the ability of a person to exert physical and mental stress to perform actions that he wished or wanted to perform. The more stress that a person can force himself to endure, the more willpower he has. The scale is very wide: from “get up at the first alarm”, to “consciously choose the risk of death to prove your case”.

    Willpower, of course, is also trained. This is most obvious in sports: athletes achieve results that are completely unimaginable at first (we abstract from the issue of doping and pharmacological support) through feasible exertion (increasing difficulty with training). Similarly, mental stress in learning increases as you move from primary school to graduation, and then on to higher education.

    Humanity has always used various methods to cultivate willpower. In the Middle Ages, future knights trained for 21 years (very cruelly, at the limit of their capabilities), in order to acquire the required combat conditions. Monks gradually (also for quite a long time) accustomed themselves to abstinence and curbing carnal temptations and other passions ( novices carried relatively light “labors”, then the abstinence regime was strengthened). The religious literature of Christianity is full of descriptions of their “spiritual exploits”. We don't know much about Yogis and Dervishes, but they didn't learn the science of body and mind control immediately.

    In order to avoid confusion in terms, it should be noted that people often talk about a person with a strong will, meaning that he has great willpower. In the above opus, it is implied that the will is the ability of a person to act at will (in a favorable or opposing environment). Willpower is the ability of an individual to realize his opportunity in an unfavorable environment.

  3. Well, yes, I also knew from childhood what WILLPOWER is and how to train it. Then the problems started…

    It turned out that the basis of the WILL is DEVELOPMENT, i.e. skills, knowledge, relationships with others, internal contradictions, etc.

    It is not always possible to solve these problems in a strong-willed way, sometimes it is necessary to “descend” to a complex structure of the psyche.

    All people have different ways, there is no single recipe; just like the only correct theory.

  4. I think that science does not know how to train and even the essence of willpower. This is a mental phenomenon that has not been studied enough to put everything on the shelves and explain what is what. Science says what we assume, but they don't say exactly how they know. When a person has realized the problem and made a decision, then this process is called “willpower”! It is impossible to train it, but the experience gained convinces a person of its capabilities. It is not possible to teach this!!! Only personal experience will give results. Go for it!!! Good luck and success! With respect.

  5. I hold my own opinion on this issue, namely, I believe that there is no” willpower ” in principle. There is a difference in motivations and nothing more. Which, by the way, proves the experience of a psychologist with children and sweets. Those children who gave up candy “here and now “in favor of more candy, but” later “did not have a”stronger will” at all. They just had (at the time, which is very important!) a stronger motivation to get more candy, that's all.

    Moreover, I believe that this very concept is very harmful, because, initially being a logical error, it can seriously harm those who accept it on faith. For example, a person who decides for some insignificant reason that he has a “weak will” will reduce his own self-esteem with all the ensuing consequences.
    For example, many people are unable to quit smoking (because they don't have enough motivation to do so), but they are successful in many areas that require significant mental effort. If each of them considered himself a “weakling”, he would hardly be able to achieve anything.

    As a visual illustration – the following problem: “Once upon a time there were two drunks and gluttons Vasya and Petya. At some point, they decided to give up their bad habits. As a result, Vasya stopped drinking, and Petya stopped eating fast food. The question of the problem is-Which of them has a stronger will and how many Mental Joules?”

    Summing up, I can say that doing “psycho-bodybuilding” is initially a stupid and useless idea. Instead, it's worth understanding what (really!) You want from this life and based on this already set yourself certain goals and follow them.
    But how to understand this is a completely different question )

  6. Karoch. I recently attended a lecture on neuropsychology. The idea was that willpower is the frontal lobes of the brain: goal setting, planning-everything in them. The brain is connected to the body. Doing these or other activities-you pump not only the body, but also the brain. The frontal lobes are pumped through powerlifting: goals, overcoming – everything is there. Here's a pruflink for you lifehacker.ru

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