What is willpower?
It is the ability to control yourself. Some research says willpower is like a muscle, you can develop it and you can also fatigue it. The more it is used the stronger it becomes.
From just looking at the word itself, I feel like willpower can be diminished and it can be increased. It also has capacity. So a person can have a high capacity willpower or a very low capacity will power.
According to the American Psychologist Association, willpower is the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals. Willpower is commonly referred to as self-discipline, self-control, determination, strength of mind. This character is what influences our success the most.
Two things that helped me develop will power
I unconsciously did a few things that helped me develop willpower in the last two years. The truth is while I was doing them I didn’t know I was conditioning myself.
First, I read, shared, and summarize the book Kaizen; one small step can change your life. See summary here.
I loved the ideas about starting small and constant improvement but I struggled with the implementation. How could I have a big goal and then start little and improve gradually? how long will that take? I loved to go big and boisterous with my goals. But I think constant reading and reflecting gradually influenced me.
Constant exposure to those ideas and many similar ones nudged me to develop self-discipline and the ability to create small wins.
Secondly, I remember I started doing daily devotional readings on youversion I started with 3 days reading, instead of reading the whole thing in a day which was possible I read each assigned day, from there I moved to 7 days, 21 days, 60 days, 100 days. Presently I am on a 365-day plan. The interesting thing about this is how I see the days gradually getting ticked off. At first, it feels like it is going to take forever but I gradually begin to see all my daily efforts accumulate to a meaningful amount of time. I didn’t know I was unconsciously developing the ability to endure.
Before now if I found out that something will take 2 weeks I got very anxious and stressed out, I couldn’t imagine how I was going to wait that long.
Developing the ability to wait is a key ingredient in building willpower. Without being fully aware I have trained my mind to delay gratification and resist the urge to take short cuts. Its a joy to see myself do things I couldn’t do before.
I am still on a journey and look forward to what is going to open up ahead of me.