Willpower is a precursor to discipline. Discipline leads way to habits. And habits determine our direction and magnitude of success. For any kind of success to be achieved in life, willpower and habits act like catalysts. They can fasten/slower our progress, depending on what we harbor inside our minds.
I have been a motivational speaker in India for almost 17 years. My work got me to interact with corporates and professionals at all levels of management. In this post, I have shared the hard-hitting lessons I have learned from their stories and experiences, and my own mistakes and failures from all those years.
Here are 5 ways one can develop that unlimited willpower that will catapult one to super success:
1. Find your charging point
Most of our willpower loss is due to our habit of getting distracted. We need to find a way to not let the world take away our attention. I am a believer of early mornings. That’s the best time to sort our priorities. A 3-hour head start can often do wonders to our goals.
It is a time when most of the world is sleeping and there is no one to distract us. The world will claim our attention if we do not defend our first 3 hours in the morning. Let early mornings be that ‘Peace Zone’/Charging Point. And if at 5 in the morning, we are wasting our time on internet memes and YouTube videos, then we have goal setting issues, not willpower problems.
A person who is guided by his deep sense of purpose wouldn’t ever waste the precious wee hours of the morning on useless things.
2. Simple to complex
Let us not get overwhelmed. No task is complex if we break it down. If there is too much to do, a molehill often starts looking like a mountain. The best way to beat this is to start with simpler tasks and then move on to bigger accomplishments. The thumb rule is – if it takes two minutes to do something, do it.
As we keep piling, our to-do list becomes scarier and our willpower starts weakening. Accomplishing a simple task gives the confidence to move to the tougher ones. A weak willpower could appear like Mount Everest that one needs to conquer. And that’s how one does scale that mountain – by climbing each rock, one step up at a time. Let your victory against your weakness be your biggest conquest of all!
“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.” – Henry Ford
3. Discipline be the center of your universe
Let’s not fit discipline into our lives. If we have to develop a willpower to succeed, we need to make discipline the center of our lives.
Let’s fix discipline at the center of our routines and plan our life around it. For example, if waking up early is your discipline, then no matter how late you sleep – you have to wake up on time. If taking a shower at 6 in the morning is important, even if the world turns upside down, the shower has to be had at that time.
This is an amazing tool for building willpower. 100% success. We need to remember that people won’t come to our rescue when we screw up our lives. We have to be our own saviors. Let us ensure our actions are not governed by blind obedience to social customs and get the job done.
4. Starving the bad habits
Majority of people let their whole life go by, making repeated good resolutions to improve, without ever succeeding in establishing and following new patterns of actions. We let our habits rule our lives. We need to wage a highly energetic psychological war between the good and bad habits that determine the directions to our success.
Let us starve our bad habits with self-control and reward good habits with good actions. People do not intentionally turn to bad habits. Deep down they are aware of the harm but succumb because they do not know the greater charm of good habits and sticking to them.
We should try cauterizing our negative habits with the opposite good habits. For example, if you have a bad habit of telling lies and by doing so have lost many friends, start the opposite good habit of telling the truth. It takes time to form either a good habit or a bad one.
Remember that once we become good, it will be natural and easy for us to be good. Starve those habits by avoiding all actions, circumstances, and people that could stimulate it.
“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.” – Benjamin Franklin
Meditation is my fix. One can do whatever calms them the most. Though, meditation is one of the most effective ways of silencing the mind and help it focus.
The battle against a weak willpower often becomes a losing one because of our restlessness and inability to stay focused on the goal. Be it a personal or a professional situation, a restless mind often leads to distractions, inefficiencies, and mismanagement of time and life.
A person who never meditates thinks that he is all right because he has become accustomed to restlessness. If he tries to meditate and be calm, he finds resistance from his mental fickleness. A habit of meditation gradually helps build resistance against this resistance. And helps the individual be sharper and focused. More focus – more willpower.
We should let our good habits snowball by repeating those actions more frequently. A mind that inculcates the tendency to remain relaxed more than anxious, learns to not get distracted.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and willpower won’t be either. It needs some tough love, relentless striving. Most of us are fighting our age-old tendencies and habits. They will take time to thaw. That’s what is great about mountains. The climb is nerve wrecking. But the view from the top is breathtaking!