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Best Possible Selves 12

Sunday, December 4, 2016

This morning's Boston Globe features two pieces on will and willpower. The lead article on the front page features the challenge for a family and their doctor in facing a seemingly unsolvable cancer diagnosis. This story is presented in serial fashion, this week's installment serving merely as the first of five chapters (written and audio). The idea here, familiar to each of us, I imagine, is that there is something inside us -- we choose to call it "will" -- that sometimes refuses to give up or to accept outcomes that we deem not to be acceptable. No doubt this is a viable strategy for becoming better versions of ourselves: not giving up, believing strongly in better outcomes, trusting scientifically that research and collaboration can lead to unanticipated solutions.  Another interesting piece appears in the Sunday Magazine, affirming the importance of willpower but suggesting that it alone may not be enough. "We need, Adler says, to realize we're not just a character in our life stories, we're also the narrator," writes Janelle Nanos, staff writer for the Globe. Together these two pieces make for some fascinating Sunday morning contemplation about the relationship between using our willpower and being our best selves. Happy reading!