How to Increase Your Willpower & Tenacity


Huberman Lab

In this episode, I discuss neuroscience and psychology studies that address the basis of willpower and tenacity, how they differ from motivation and how we can all increase our levels of willpower and tenacity. I discuss whether willpower is a limited resource, the controversial “ego depletion” theory of willpower and the role that beliefs play in determining our tenacity and willpower. Then, I discuss the neural basis of willpower in the brain and body and how tenacity and willpower relate to sleep, stress, focus, and possibly lifespan. Then, I provide a series of science-supported tools and protocols to increase your level of tenacity and willpower.

For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit

Thank you to our sponsors​


Maui Nui Venison:

Helix Sleep:




(00:00:00) Tenacity & Willpower

(00:01:19) Sponsors: Maui Nui & Helix Sleep

(00:03:49) Tenacity & Willpower vs. Habit Execution; Apathy, Depression & Motivation

(00:10:40) Ego Depletion & Willpower as a Limited Resource; Controversy

(00:19:14) Tool: Autonomic Function, Tenacity & Willpower; Sleep & Stress

(00:28:02) Sponsor: AG1

(00:28:58) Willpower as a Limited Resource (Theory)

(00:35:36) Willpower & Glucose, Brain Energetics

(00:42:44) Beliefs about Willpower & Glucose; Multiple Challenges

(00:52:43) Sponsor: LMNT

(00:54:01) Willpower Brain ‘Hub’; Anorexia Nervosa, Super-Agers

(01:07:15) Anterior Midcingulate Cortex & Brain/Body Communication

(01:14:54) Allostasis, Anterior Midcingulate Cortex Function

(01:25:19) Anterior Mid-Cingulate Cortex (aMCC), Difficult Tasks & Neuroplasticity

(01:29:30) Tool: Novel Physical Exercise & Brain; Cognitive Exercise

(01:43:43) Tool: “Micro-sucks”, Increase Tenacity/Willpower

(01:50:58) Impossible Tasks, Super-Agers & Learning, Will to Live

(01:57:23) Tool: Rewards & Improving Tenacity/Willpower

(02:01:07) Tenacity & Willpower Recap

(02:05:55) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, YouTube Feedback, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac


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