Getting to No

The science of building willpower

Jill Greenberg for TIME

Pity your prefrontal cortex--the CEO and chief justice of the bedlam that is your brain. It's the prefrontal that has to reconcile the artiste of your right hemisphere with the logician of your left, the tough guy of your hypothalamus with the drama queen of your anterior cingulate cortex. All that seems like more than enough. But then comes the job of wrangling the dorm rats and party animals of your midbrain, the place where your most decadent appetites--for drinking, gambling, eating, smoking, shopping, sloth, sex--come to get fed.

The battle between your noble lobes and your ignoble ones isn't even...

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