In the American Psychological Association’s annual survey on stress, people cited a lack of willpower as the number one barrier to following through with changes that would improve their lives. What they’re really saying is that they don’t have the self-control to make those changes, because if they did, they’d know that willpower is something over which they have total control.
Will power is defined as the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals. It’s the self-control to manage our thoughts, emotions, and behavior in ways that set us up for success. It’s d Like mental toughness, it boils down to who’s calling the shots. If you want something bad enough, you’ll find the willpower to make things happen.
It isn’t easy because our happiness-infused culture confuses what feels good with what is good for us. Good experiences are not always pleasant, and pleasant experiences are not always good. We’ve confused the good life with feeling good. There are lots of books and seminars that promise to show you how to eliminate your frustrations and show you ways to avoid negative experiences.
A strong mind doesn’t require layers of enlightenment. Instead, think of it as a kick in the butt where you get over yourself and deal with all aspects of life. If you adopt an avoidance or denial approach to everything that is crappy and disagreeable, there are lots of pharmaceutical companies and drug dealers willing to sell you whatever keeps you in Lala land.
The alternative is to take an honest look at yourself and spend the time to uncover what is important to you. Once you do, you’ll have an inkling of where you want to go in life because here’s the thing: to activate your willpower, you must be able to remind yourself why it’s important for you to do something. Meaningless tasks will not activate your willpower. When you find a way to keep the juices flowing, it’s a potent reminder that you are working on something important and are committed to your goal.
There’s a good chance that you’ve tried to change your behavior through sheer willpower. And…