Willpower Doesn’t Work

Willpower Doesn’t Work

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- Discover the Hidden Keys to Success -

by Benjamin Hardy

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Book Details
 160 p
 File Size 
 939 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 978-0-316-44132-2 (hardcover)
 978-0-31644136-0 (ebook)
 2018 by Benjamin Hardy  

About the Author
Benjamin Hardy is pursuing his PhD in industrial and organizational psychology
from Clemson University. Since late 2015, he’s been the #1 writer on
Medium.com, where he writes about self-improvement, motivation, and
entrepreneurship. Benjamin’s work is read by millions of people every month.
He and his wife, Lauren, are the foster parents of three kids. They live in South Carolina.

Let’s be honest, you’ve tried to improve your life a million times—and a
million times you’ve come back to the drawing board, frustrated. You’ve tried
willpower to kick a bad habit but fell back into old patterns. You’ve tried New
Year’s resolutions, but by February, everything reverts back to how it was the
year before. You’ve set big, life-changing goals but seem to find yourself far
short of them despite hard work. After enough failure, it’s easy to conclude that
you are the problem. You must not have what it takes—the grit, the inner
strength, the willpower. Perhaps you should just settle for the life you have…
But what if that assessment was all wrong?
What if the problem wasn’t you at all?
Take the near-universal struggle to lose weight. A large portion of the global
population is getting heavier despite exerting more and more effort to be thin.
Billions are spent on fad diets and gym memberships—and for what? It is
projected by several health experts that by 2025, more than 50 percent of all
humans on planet Earth will be overweight or obese. Sadder still, those who are
trying the hardest are struggling the most. There are a variety of explanations for
this global crisis—for example, genetics, personality, a lack of willpower, or bad
habits. But these aren’t the cause of the obesity epidemic. Our radically changing
environment is.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the world became industrialized, which
drew masses of people away from farms and into cities. Rather than working
outside as laborers, the trend over the last 100 years has been for people to work
indoors, generally while sitting down. Rather than eating local food, most people
eat food from a package.
Although the Industrial Revolution was a huge environmental shift, the
information and technological age, beginning in the 1980s and 1990s,
accelerated the changes to the now-global environment. Technological
advancement is now moving at an exponentially faster rate, and very few human
beings can adapt to the changes currently shaping our environment.
Most people are the casualties of these rapid environmental changes.
Unequipped to properly govern themselves in a new world with new rules, many
of them succumb to various addictions—primarily to technology, but also to
stimulants such as caffeine, fast-absorbing foods containing high amounts of
carbohydrates and sugar, and work.
All of these culturally accepted addictions fuel one another, putting people
under constant stress and sleep deprivation. Put simply, most of us are in
survival mode. To be addicted has become the norm, and if you want to control
your life, willpower should not be your strategy of choice. There’s too much in
our environment that’s pushing against us. Addiction expert Arnold M.
Washton, PhD, has said, “Many people think that what the addict needs is
willpower, but nothing could be further from the truth.”
The key to getting out of survival mode and overcoming the cultural
addictions is not to exert more willpower. Your willpower is gone. It was gone
the moment you woke up and got sucked back into your smartphone. It was gone
when you were bombarded by a thousand options and choices. White-knuckling
your way to change doesn’t work. It never did. Instead, you need to create and
control your environment.

Table of Contents
Title Page
Introduction: Why Willpower Doesn’t Work

Chapter 1: Every Hero Is the Product of a Situation
Chapter 2: How Your Environment Shapes You
Chapter 3: Two Types of “Enriched” Environments
Chapter 4: Reset Your Life
Chapter 5: Designate a Sacred Space
Chapter 6: Remove Everything That Conflicts with Your Decisions
Chapter 7: Change Your Default Options
Chapter 8: Create Triggers to Prevent Self-Sabotage
Chapter 9: Embed “Forcing Functions” into Your Environment
Chapter 10: More Than Good Intentions
Chapter 11: Grow into Your Goals
Chapter 12: Rotate Your Environments
Chapter 13: Find Unique Collaborations
Chapter 14: Never Forget Where You Came From

Conclusion: No Matter Where You Are, You Can Change
About the Author

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If we do not create and control our environment, 
our environment creates and controls us.
—Dr. Marshall Goldsmith