Building Your Willpower
I hear so many people talk about ‘Will Power’. But what is it and why do so many people want it? People have been going on about this strange concept for many years. Many motivational books talk about the subject there are countless definitions and methods and so I decided to see if I could simplify it going by what I’d learned from practise and experience.
First off, lets try and ascertain what this whole concept of ‘Will Power’ means?
To me, ‘Will’ means the strength and drive to complete a set task or achieve and goal. ‘Power’ means: The energy to drive forward. Now this definition is based solely on my experience and understanding of those words. Each of our individual experiences may lead us to feel a different way about any given subject but that’s how I’ve come to understand the concept.
‘Will Power’ – The energy to drive forward and complete a set task or goal.
So therein lies the first stage of building your will power – set yourself a task and with associate a specific goal. E.g. I have always been fighting a loosing battle with my weight. In March 2005 I managed to somehow reach a whopping 22 stone in weight! I was starting to get extremely ill and weak. My body started to cave in on me. I started experiencing severe health problems with my heart, my joints and my eyes. I had severe pain in my knees when I walked down the stairs. The alarm bells finally started ringing.
It was March 21st 2005 that I started to realise and awaken to the fact that I was killing myself by the way that I was eating. It was also the day that my girlfriend had decided that she wanted to split up with me which, in a sense, worked out well because at that particular moment, I had that small kind of awakening spark. Because of that spark, the breakup with my girlfriend didn’t phase me much at all. In fact, if anything, it was perfect timing because it meant I could solely focus on changing my diet permanently for the better. To this day, almost a year later, although my diet isn’t 100% perfect, it is however, much healthier, I’ve lost weight, I look better, I feel better and I’m a better person because of it.
So what happened? What was the spark? What did I do to achieve my goal?
Well firstly, I’m not entirely sure what the spark was or where it originated from. Maybe it was just the fact that things got so bad that they almost couldn’t get any worse or that I didn’t want them too! All I know for sure is that I realised that I needed to do something about my weight or face some serious consequences in the future.
So, with respect to that, stage 1 of using and building your will power is realisation. Unfortunately, unless you have realisation about a particular goal, then you may not be able to go further. I won’t say that it is impossible; but it is very important that you awaken to a particular idea or concept about yourself that you need to undertake or change.
Secondly, after having the realisation or awakening, YOU MUST ACT ON IT. Those sparks don’t last for long, a few days at most. How do you act on it? This is where you must divert your attention and energy to the thing you need to change. So for this example, lets take my weight. I new that something had to be done. But what? What did I do?
Firstly I started reading up on health and better living. I slowly started bringing changes into my diet but this took a lot of energy. I struggled on certain days. But gradually I started forming new habits. I stress that this wasn’t easy. I had to fight each day to make changes, but I was enjoying experimenting with new foods and juices and I started to like it which made the whole process easier. There were days when I caved I had the odd binge but overall the changes were having a lasting effect.
This process is the driving forward aspect that I was talking about earlier. There were days that I would wake up and feel low and didn’t feel like being healthy but I strived on and eventually I felt the rewards. The rewards were that I lost weight, I felt much healthier, I didn’t have any pains in my legs, my eyes started improving and overall I was feeling more motivated.
Now a year later, the struggle is not over. There are days when I still give into the same laziness of the past and eat bad foods and fall into the rut but they are fewer and further between. I still haven’t completed the process of totally transforming my diet. There are a few other major changes that have to happen in my life before that can happen. This process of making slow but gradual changes is the will power that I was talking about earlier. It was driving forward and pushing myself further and harder all the time. I now write down my goals and do my best to stick to them – almost like a contract with myself. Writing down your progress also can show you how far you have moved on from when your started your process, whatever that maybe.
I’ve compiled a list of tips to build your will power and achieve success in all that you do:
1. Realise and awaken to what is that you need to achieve. More importantly REALISE WHEN YOU’VE HAD THIS REALISATION! This is the hardest step of all, but once you’ve had the awakening, you must act on it quickly.
2. Know exactly what it is you want to achieve and start the process of working towards that.
3. Tell only one person what you’re doing and ask them to help monitor your progress. Don’t tell too many people because that process in itself can zap the energy of the process. (Not sure why…just something I’ve noticed over the years.)
4. Write down your goals but also write down your progress and use it as a reference point to monitor your progress. It can be useful to see how far you have got.
5. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – to achieve your goal, if practical, help someone else achieve the same. That process in itself can be a huge boost to your own objectives. It’s almost like a “karmic” process. Help another achieve that which you desire.
6. Know that you will have failures as well as success. The failures are a sure fire sign that you’ve tried your guts out. If you don’t fail at all, then you’re not pushing yourself hard enough. Failure, in many ways, is also success!
7. Remember that your will power is your drive and energy to complete set tasks and objectives. Don’t be afraid to fail but on doing so establish why you’ve failed and aim to rectify that on the next attempt.
8. Start the process with positive thoughts and good wishes for yourself. Think: “I am successful in all that I undertake regardless of the outcome. I am aware that I am undertaking a new challenge in this game of life. I am a success.”