© 2019 Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosopher

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On Willpower

Updated: Oct 11, 2019

Because, unfortunately, we are not machines that can do anything as long as we able to, we are partially confined to our emotional, mental energies, although they can be partially surpassed with enough training of discipline.

Anyways, If we were automatic machines with no need to recharge beyond nutrition and fluids, we would create supreme industries and maximize our productions. We could be able to do anything an unwanting organism would refuse to do, or at least would find it very hard to do because of lack of motivation and discipline.

If we didn’t need to rely on our willpower for our efforts, we could do anything that our bodies, minds and machinery are physically or mentally capable of. Imagine what a world would it be!

· People wouldn’t demand high salaries for jobs as a source of motivation.

· People wouldn’t need all the complex of social and romantic drama and excitement just to reproduce.

· People wouldn’t suffer from addictions, because addictions rely on the person wanting to consume the addicting substance or action.

· There would be no rapes because willpower is also existent in sexuality.

· Laziness would be non-existent, because no willpower would make us feel good by being lazy or by procrastinating.

· People would be more physically healthy because they would only need to know the benefit of physical activity in order to become more fit and strong.

· Candies, drugs, alcohol, addictive video games - they would serve no function because people would not need to fight against their willpower for the sake of their wellbeing.

· There would be no corruption, because corruption is based on temptation, which is one of the faces of the willpower.

· Students would do their homework without complaining.

However, what can we do that willpower is the fuel and engine that motivates us to do specific things and avoid other things, regardless of their nature? Willpower is important because it serves as our primary motivations to commit some activities and discard the rest, and the more willpower we possess, the more motivated and, perhaps, successful, we would be by achieving said things. This also serves as a double-edged sword, because our willpower can be against our own good.

The more we base our actions on mere willpower, the more dependent we shall be on that willpower and its level of dominance on us, rather than relying on our knowledge and the benefits or the damage of the actions we commit and inflict on others or on ourselves, or both.

This is why I recommend not to heavily rely on willpower alone, because willpower is temporary and a limited energy. Knowledge and awareness, however, are more beneficial to rely upon as our sources of actions because they are more solid and more convincing for the long-term.

Willpower is nothing more than a biochemical reaction that can change anytime whatever the circumstances are. It is therefore foolish to rely completely on willpower, like children do. We should look at the bigger picture and view ourselves as more than the current emotion we are feeling. We should, in other words, do things not primarily because we want, but because we are aware of the benefits and the possible results of the actions we commit.