Willpower is indispensable to achieving goals and your happiness. Can you master your willpower? Discover the brutal truth today.
Why am I writing about willpower? Holistic growth and happiness are not possible without this mental asset.
I will discuss willpower from a holistic point of view in this article. Most authors focus on only the mental, physical or spiritual aspects of willpower.
What Is Willpower
It is the ability to controlyour own thoughts and the way in which you behave: - Cambridge Dictionary
Quotes about Willpower
“If you have a dream, don’t just sit there. Gather courage to believe that you can succeed and leave no stone unturned to make it a reality.” ― Dr Roopleen
“If freedom is short of weapons, we must compensate with willpower.” ― Adolf Hitler
“Events may be horrible or inescapable. Men have always a choice - if not whether, then how, they may endure.” ― Lois McMaster Bujold
“The biggest enemies of willpower: temptation, self-criticism, and stress. (...) these three skills —self-awareness, self-care, and remembering what matters most— are the foundation for self-control.” ― Kelly McGonigal
The Benefits of Mastering Your Willpower
Let me list some benefits of mastering your willpower:
It is easier to win temptations
You can overcome procrastination
Your goals will be easier to attain
You will make more money and invest it in better ventures
It is a bigger chance to be promoted and appreciated at work
Your self-esteem will rocket
You will be healthier physically and mentally.
What Consumes Willpower
Your willpower is like a fuel tank or energy reservoir. Anything you do consumes this fuel so it is harder and harder to continue doing tasks and resisting temptations. What, in particular, does consume your willpower?
Relieving pain when you try not to think about it,
Activities absorbing the working memory of your brain, e.g., calculating analysis,
Wavering while making a decision,
Emotional restraint, keeping self-composed,
Doing physical exercises and heavy physical effort (e.g. gardening, heavy cleaning),
Trying to solve a jigsaw or playing a strategic game,
Forcing yourself to do unwanted tasks, e.g., house chores,
Talking to difficult people, especially complainers or those telling you what to do.
Just think how easy it is to resist temptations in the morning and in the evening, especially those concerning eating or procrastination while studying/working late at night. It also concerns work efficiency at your job.
However, willpower never exhausts totally you will just be tired instead. After recharging your fuel tank you will work more efficiently or resist temptations. Just watch the borderline of exhaustion and take action to recharge your willpower.
When Is Willpower Exhausted?
Start observing how you use willpower and when you reach the borderline state. And when you get to it, regenerate this mental asset.
Your willpower is never completely exhausted, but its low level will greatly impact your productivity and your life. You can squeeze, regenerate or save your willpower.
What kind of alarm does your body, mind and soul trigger when your willpower reaches the borderline?
Firstly, your productivity plummets and you become physically and mentally exhausted. Secondly, the number of temptations drastically increases and it is harder to resist them. Thirdly you can easily snap as emotional control is very low.
These are not all symptoms. Your willingness to help others is much lower while shame, guilt and other destructive kinds of vibrations start to kick on with a stronger force.
How to Master Willpower
As I wrote above, there are three ways of mastering your willpower: saving, squeezing and recharging it.
1. Saving Willpower
Treat your willpower as your precious asset, like money, time and energy. Plan spending in advance and create new habits which will save your willpower. What can you do?
1.1. Be Warned and Prepared
In the morning, review your daily schedule and notice any temptations and hard moments, At the beginning, a written analysis could be the best. When you planned your to-do list last evening, the task will be easier - just make a list of one or two obstacles to each task. These questions may help you to identify the challenges:
Who/What can distract you?
What your critical triggers can be around while doing this task?
How tired/stressed out might you be at that time?
Then decide what you can do to overcome the challenges.
1.2. Create New Habits Empowering Good Habits
Anything that works on autopilot does not consume your willpower. What habits can you create? Of course, those which will help you win temptations and achieve your goals - not only in the matter. Here are some examples to use:
Setting an alarm clock on a given hour, the alarm will be the trigger to start another good habit, e.g. this which is procrastinated or abandoned
Rituals - a regular chain of activities in the morning and in the evening (brushing teeth, morning exercise, meditation)
Use objects which will trigger your mind to start an activity (e.g. a ring put on your finger right before starting a block of work).
1.3. Burn the Ships of Temptation
As I wrote in my last article about triggers, in order to stop doing bad habits (and temptations to do destructive things), you have to eliminate the trigger of temptation. It means no junk food or cigarettes, drugs within reach of your mouth, hands and so on.
In the case of immaterial triggers, make them more difficult to use, e.g. block social media pages while working, hide the folder containing games deep inside other folders, cypher it with a difficult password or, the best option, delete.
Applying the tips mentioned above, you will save a huge amount of willpower, not having to fight temptations.
1.4. Act Immediately
Do not wait until temptation becomes stronger. Act IMMEDIATELY when you notice tiredness, stress or your vibrations are sliding. The longer you procrastinate repelling temptations, the more willpower will be consumed and it will be harder and harder to win this temptation.
2. Willpower Squeezers
Of course, you can manipulate your willpower to increase its level. Hence, there are some squeezers to use. But remember, it is a temporary solution, you should mostly save and regenerate your willpower rather than squeeze it.
2.1. Believe in the Abundance of Willpower
As we know from a spiritual point of view, the resources in the Universe are unlimited, there is abundance for everyone. The same applies to willpower. Believing that you are abundant with willpower and that you CAN repel a temptation, will make it happen.
However, do not ignore the signs of fatigue because your physical and mental bodies HAVE a limited amount of energy, which has to be recharged from time to time.
How to Apply This Tool
Create and instil a belief that you CAN increase the amount of willpower and achieve your goals.
List your personal victories, the cases when you had enough willpower to resist the temptation of eating junk food or when you finished an important project, despite a tempting program on TV.
Moreover, you can find examples in the biographies of famous people - business people, sports stars, and spiritual gurus. Model their methods and create a happy life.
2.2. Increase Motivation
There is one important formula used for willpower: motivation increases willpower and vice versa. It simply means that when you want something more, there will be more willpower available, fewer temptations and more effective work towards your goals. And any success, either physical, mental or spiritual, will also increase your motivation.
Examine your motivation and find more opportunities for it to be ignited. Hence, set achievable goals, surround yourself with motivating and helpful people, and list your achievements, also these "little" victories like thinking only positive thoughts and not cursing.
2.3. Increase the Sense of Autonomy
You can do it by manipulating language. Louise Hay, reaching affirmations, often uses this one starting with "I choose...".
From childhood, we are programmed to use "have to" whenever possible. Someone else decides about our life. Start using I CHOOSE instead
For example, if you work on good habits and put pressure on yourself by "have to", chances are, that your willpower will be much quicker consumed because your inner voice will rebel against "have to".
It will be easier to yield temptations just because you will not care if someone/something else decides for you. Moreover, reason your choices. having goals, each of them should have a list of reasons for working on these goals.
Now I choose to do.... because ...
Now I choose not to do ... and do ... instead because ...
2.4. Other Willpower Squeezers
there are some other methods, that work instantly when used. Try these
Tighten your muscles, e.g. calves. biceps.
Fold your arms over your chest
Drink a glass of water - a dehydrated brain works in a less effective way
Do a 5-minute meditation (during your break) or pray
Practise mindfulness for 5 minutes
Get up and do a short walk, breathing deeply
Look at something green for a couple of minutes
3. Willpower Recharge
Remember to recharge your batteries. How? Here are some simple, but often neglected methods
Sleep of good quantity and quality and short daily naps
Walking, doing some moderate exercise
Connecting to the forces of Mother Earth - cuddling a tree, enjoying the breeze or rainfall.
A good system of work, e.g. the Pomodoro one.
A good system of stress management - e.g. journaling, singing, dancing
A diversified daily routine (physical and mental blocks of work are alternated)
Indulging in pleasurable activities (e.g., a hot bath)
Talk to a friend who supports and encourages you to work on your goals.
Let's Meditate Together
Connect by telepathy during meditation on Saturdays at 8 pm GMT. I will meditate with you and others so that our collective energy can create miracles. Send your intention to the Universe. Transform your life and the world.
More about meditation
In a Nutshell
You can manage your willpower to be more effective in repelling temptations and your goals achievements. There are three ways of willpower management: saving, squeezing and recharging it. Good luck with your willpower management. With lots of love and light,
Vicky is an experienced holistic writer and coach who inspires, motivates, and encourages everyone to become the best version of themselves - physically, mentally, and spiritually.
The content of Awaken Happy Life is published for educational and informative purposes only. It does not substitute medical or any other professional advice. Please seek professional care if you believe you may have a condition. The author of Awaken Happy Life is not liable for any consequences of applying any piece of advice published on this website by the reader.