from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The strength of will to carry out one's decisions, wishes, or plans.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The unwavering strength of will to carry out one’s wishes.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the trait of resolutely controlling your own behavior
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Indeed, any attempt to alter compulsive or addictive behaviour by willpower is not only doomed to failure, but highly-destructive to the psychological wellbeing of the client.
The idea of exercising willpower is seen in military boot camp, where recruits are trained to overcome one challenge after another.
I would argue that, in addition to diet and exercise, willpower is also required.
Let's just say that willpower is not my strongest suit.
Little by little the more you display just a little willpower the more your short-term willpower increases.
Basically, every person has (1) short term willpower capability and (2) long term willpower capability.
But gradually, step by step, I got more willpower, so I think willpower is something you can grow.
Re your second example, what conservatives believe is not in the effectiveness of 'willpower' -- that is actually a leftist belief, see, e.g., Nietzsche, darling of the left -- but in the essential goodness of Creation and humanity.
... the conservative conceit that willpower is the crucial variable in making our national security policy work.
The section on the need for willpower is one of the most amusing, with George Clooney showing up with fat-heavy McDonald’s food.