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Willpower - John Tierney | Intangibles 007

By Steve Berg August 7, 2017

On This Episode:

Today we speak with journalist and author John Tierney (Twitter), who co-wrote the book “Willpower” with psychologist Roy Baumeister. John also writes for The New York Times and The City Journal, with a focus on science and social psychology. 

Show Notes:

●    The quality of willpower and how it is essential for founders to have when they’re faced with the many challenges a new company must overcome


●    The things someone can do to increase their willpower, and how they can “strengthen” it like a muscle


●    The evolution of self-help books, and what this says about society as it is today


●    How self-esteem, intelligence, and self-control all contribute to success - and how they all correlate to one another


●    How scientists have been able to measure willpower and how they’ve discovered that it can be depleted


●    How improving self-control in one area of your life (ie. having better posture) can “spill-over” to having self-control in other areas


●    The famous Stanford marshmallow test, and what it was able to show the correlation between self-control and success


●    The 8 laws that govern willpower (and that help you improve it):

        1) Know your limits

        2) Practice willpower

        3) Eat

        4) Avoid the “planning fallacy”

        5) Create to-do lists with specific and doable actions

        6) Track, measure, and monitor your willpower

        7) Focus on one thing at a time and eliminate the unimportant

        8) Conserve your willpower


●    What decision fatigue and ego-depletion are, and how they affect willpower


●    Why drinking lemonade can help your self-control


●    How procrastination erodes willpower


●    How to recognize the quality of self-control in other people



Intangibles: A podcast about traits, behaviors, and qualities that entrepreneurs can cultivate to be successful. Find us on the web at


Antecedent Ventures: An enterprise-focused, seed-stage venture firm in NYC. You can find us at


Dentons Venture Technology Group: Operating as a boutique within the world’s largest law firm, the venture technology group runs with hard-charging tech entrepreneurs to drive growth through strategic business, finance, and legal advice from Silicon Valley to New York, to London, Berlin, Hong Kong, and beyond. Learn more at


Willpower: John Tierney and Roy Baumeister’s book discussing willpower, self-control, and how to master these two qualities in your life

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