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Published: December 9, 2022

What a 1930s experiment may say about your willpower

Let’s put your willpower to a fun test.

When you see the next words, try to read each of the following words out loud as fast as you can.


Were you able to read all the words correctly? How many times did you say the color instead?

This is a mini version of an experiment that was first done back in the 1930’s, the “Stroop Test.” It’s supposed to test willpower — and show how it can be depleted or drained.1

No matter how you did here or what really puts your willpower to the test, there are ways to make it stronger. That’s the focus of this month’s Visual Insights Newsletter.

Click here to see it!

On any given day, any of us can struggle with willpower and feel like we’re being put to the test.

When that happens, focusing on our values, our “why,” and the payoff can keep us motivated. It can help us persevere, even when we’re running pretty low on willpower.

Over time, that can make our willpower much stronger. It can also help us accomplish life’s bigger goals.2

Want to read more smart, simple hacks for closing the willpower gap? Click here to check out the rest.

P.S. What or who motivates you when things get tough? Do you revisit any inspiring quotes, music, photos, or something else? Hit “comment” and share your answers. I’d love to hear about how you stay motivated and what helps you when you need a motivational boost.


  1. https://escholarship.org/content/qt6kk7h88b/qt6kk7h88b_noSplash_1ba1bec8b62b73219b00c369760cc6eb.pdf?t=op2le3
  2. https://www.apa.org/topics/willpower-self-control.pdf

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