Is Willpower Innate?

Is willpower something that we’re born with and live with our entire lives? 

Is willpower something that we’re born with and live with our entire lives?  We often think about many of our personality traits and our mental traits as being things we’re born with.  But many things, including personality, willpower, intelligence, all things are endowments we are born with a tendency towards, but then we use throughout life and we can build up. 

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Our Old Genes Have Collided with the Modern World

We have old genes that are well adapted to living in some previous environment that are constantly encountering new environments. 

Biologists refer to humans as a “weed species.”  And this is not meant as an insult.  When we say, “weed species,” the idea is that there are species that can thrive in a wide variety of environments. 

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Parenting Books Are Often Worse for the Baby than a Glass of Red Wine

Stress at critical periods of development can be bad for the developing brain.

The promise or threat of impending parenthood can turn an otherwise calm person into a neurotic wreck.  And when you encounter people who are expecting their first child or even their second child, they often really start freaking over things they shouldn’t be. 

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Two Neuropsychologist-Approved Stress Relievers

As long as the stress is transient, and then taken away, that seems to be a feature that leads to better stress responses later on. 

Stress to a certain degree is unavoidable in the workplace and in a daily life. And so I think a general principle is that even if stress is unavoidable, what we can do is we can change the amount of time that we’re exposed to stress, for instance by making sure the stress is transient. 

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