by on March 2, 2021

On Being a Human

Willpower is what separates us from the animals. It’s the capacity to
restrain our impulses, resist temptation — do what’s right and good for us
in the long run, not what we want to do right now. It’s central, in fact, to
—Roy Baumeister 3

Humans have the capacity to act against their urges in exchange for a
better future. Unfortunately, many people live by the principle of “if it feels
good, do it, and if it doesn’t, don’t do it.”

Caving in to your temptations whenever you feel them emerge is like
relinquishing your humanity, in a way. As an intelligent human being, you
have an ability — and I daresay an obligation — to make decisions that are
based on rational thinking, not on your instincts alone.

Strive to be a better human and embrace your humanity by exercising
your “willpower muscle,” instead of succumbing to your most primal (and
least helpful for your long-term goals) part of the brain. Your most primal
instincts may provide temporary comfort, but seldom are good for the long
term, except when there is a direct threat to your survival.

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