How to Build Willpower | David Goggins & Dr. Andrew Huberman | Summary and Q&A

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January 20, 1970
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How to Build Willpower | David Goggins & Dr. Andrew Huberman

TL;DR

The anterior midcingulate cortex is a brain area that grows when people do things they don't want to do, like exercise or resist temptation, and is considered the seat of willpower.

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Key Insights

  • 💗 The anterior midcingulate cortex is a brain area that grows when people engage in activities they don't want to do, indicating its involvement in willpower.
  • 💗 Obese individuals have smaller anterior midcingulate cortex, but it grows when they adopt healthier behaviors.
  • 🫒 Athletes, individuals who overcome challenges, and those who live long lives have larger anterior midcingulate cortex.
  • 🏛️ Building willpower involves consistently doing things that are difficult and not enjoyable.
  • 🏛️ The anterior midcingulate cortex is not influenced by activities one enjoys, emphasizing the importance of discomfort and struggle in building willpower.
  • 🆘 Understanding the anterior midcingulate cortex can help individuals develop their willpower and overcome obstacles.
  • 👯 Many people feel like they are missing something because they haven't tapped into their willpower and explored their true capabilities.

Transcript

I'm going to share a little neuroscience tidbit. Love it. But I think it's one that you'll appreciate. Most people don't know this, but there's a brain structure called the anterior midcingulate cortex, as we pointed out before, that's a noun, it's a name, it doesn't mean anything. Right. We could call it the cookie monster. Right. But what's inter... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the anterior midcingulate cortex?

The anterior midcingulate cortex is a brain structure that plays a role in willpower and grows when people engage in activities they don't want to do.

Q: How does the size of the anterior midcingulate cortex differ in obese individuals?

The anterior midcingulate cortex is smaller in obese individuals, but it grows when they diet and make efforts to lose weight.

Q: What is the relationship between the anterior midcingulate cortex and athletes?

The anterior midcingulate cortex is larger in athletes, suggesting that their willpower and ability to overcome physical challenges may be influenced by this brain area.

Q: Can the size of the anterior midcingulate cortex be changed?

Yes, the size of the anterior midcingulate cortex can be increased by consistently engaging in activities that one doesn't want to do, as this builds up the brain area associated with willpower.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The anterior midcingulate cortex is a brain area that expands when people engage in activities they don't want to do, such as exercise or resist temptation.

  • This brain area is smaller in obese individuals and grows when they diet, but is larger in athletes, those who overcome challenges, and people who live long lives.

  • Building up the anterior midcingulate cortex requires consistently engaging in activities that are difficult and that one doesn't enjoy.

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