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Conservation of Will

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

A particularly great comment by "Zeid1" on the post "Willpower Isn't Enough"; here's Zeid's comment in full -

Excellent Post.

The idea of Willpower being the answer is dangerous.  An example I think of is 12-step programs for fighting addiction.  In almost every 12-step program there is the need to submit to a higher power which can help you stop your habits.  This leads to some consternation from those who don't believe in a higher power, but the programs themselves are very effective. 

In my view this is hugely due to our cultural idea that the correct way for us to deal with something like addiction is to "Man Up" and will ourselves to stop doing whatever destructive behavior we're trying to avoid.  However, in the process of manning up, we're exhausting our ability to continue to do so, and in effect putting ourselves at a prime risk of relapse.  

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