AQUINAS • Willpower

Italian Philosopher and Theologian | 1225 – 1274

“The will is the first moving principle in being human because it is the principle of our actions.

We could all use an extra dose of willpower. The added fuel and fire to get things done.

Thomas Aquinas considered the human will as a fundamental aspect of human nature, the faculty of the soul that directs our actions and choices. Aquinas distinguished the will from the intellect, which is responsible for knowledge and understanding. While our intellect apprehends and discerns what is “good,” our will determines the final purpose and chooses among various options based on its judgment.

Willpower then, requires you to know— what is your “good”?

What is the personal narrative directing your life?
What is the story that you’re telling yourself?
What is your internal dialogue?

According to Aquinas, willpower is an exercise of both rational and appetitive aspects. The will’s rational aspect is critical in guiding and directing the appetitive aspect, ensuring that our desires, emotions, and passions are aligned with reason.

So, having passion without purpose, is pointless.

Willpower is essentially having a powerful and clear goal. If you find yourself lacking in willpower, the problem may very well be that you’re not dreaming big enough.