Can Too Much Willpower Be Bad for You?By Homaira Kabir
Odysseus plugged his mens’ ears with beeswax and had himself tied to the mast of his ship in order to escape the seductive call of the Sirens on his return home to Ithaca. Luckily for him, the distractions he faced were relatively few and largely predictable.
We, on the other hand, are bombarded with facts, rumors, and unlimited choice, the equivalent of 174 newspapers of data every single day. Getting through on a daily basis can sometimes feel like escaping a war zone, where there's no knowing where the next assault will come from. In the information age, Odysseus may not have succeeded with planning and foresight alone. Like most of us, he may have found himself mustering all the willpower he could find to stay his course.
Willpower is touted to be the magic pill that can keep immediate and visceral desires at bay. And the science backs this up. Starting in the 1960s with the famous Stanford Marshmallow experiment to present-day research that calls it