Oct. 9, 2023

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


This episode is from Huberman Lab whose proprietor has full ownership and responsibility on its contents and artworks. It was shared using Castamatic, a podcast app for iPhone and iPad.