| June 5, 2018

Last updated: June 6, 2018

Podcast

Podcast #411: Why Emotions Are Better Than Willpower in Achieving Your Goals

To achieve your goals, you probably think you need one key ingredient: willpower. Grit. Self-control. Discipline. To hear a lot of self-improvement gurus tell it, if you want to get your life together, then just get it together. Just do it. 

Yet while these motivational calls certainly feel good and make us pump our fists, how well does willpower-ing your way to your goals work in reality?

If you’re like a lot of people, who have a string of half-finished aims heaped in the dustbin of their lives, you know the answer is: “Not very well.”

My guest today argues that there’s a reason for that — that while willpower does have a role in our lives, there’s actually a better source of motivation at our disposal: our emotions. 

His name is David DeSteno and he’s the author of the book Emotional Success: The Power of Gratitude, Compassion, and Pride. Today DeSteno makes the case that cultivating certain feelings will actually enhance our self-control and help us become who we want to be more than simply relying on willpower to get the job done.

Show Highlights

  • Why it’s so hard for us to turn down short-term pleasure for long-term success
  • Why willpower and self-discipline don’t always work 
  • Where willpower comes from 
  • If rationality and willpower don’t work, what does? 
  • The “moral” emotions 
  • How is it that gratitude can push us to right action?
  • Is it as simple as keeping a gratitude journal? How can we amp up our daily gratitude? 
  • Why do humans have emotions?
  • How is compassion different from empathy?
  • Idiot compassion vs true compassion 
  • Why self-compassion is so important, and how to implement it
  • The negative health effects of guilt and shame 
  • The positive side of pride 
  • What role do social connections play in all this?
  • So what role does willpower play?

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With David 

David on Twitter 

David’s website

Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)

available-on-itunes

available-on-stitcher

soundcloud-logo

pocketcasts

google-play-podcast

Listen to the episode on a separate page.

Download this episode.

Subscribe to the podcast in the media player of your choice.

Podcast Sponsors

Athletic Greens. The most complete, whole foods supplement available, plus it tastes fantastic. Head over to AthleticGreens.com/manliness and claim your 20 FREE travel packs today.

The Black Tux. Wedding season is here. Online no-hassle tux rentals with free shipping both ways. Get $20 off your first purchase by visiting theblacktux.com/manliness.

Indochino offers custom, made-to-measure suits at an affordable price. They’re offering any premium suit for just $379. That’s up to 50% off. To claim your discount go to Indochino.com and enter discount code “MANLINESS” at checkout. Plus, shipping is free.

Click here to see a full list of our podcast sponsors.

Recorded with ClearCast.io.

Read the Transcript

Coming soon!