Three ways to Enhance and Amplify your Willpower
1. Willpower is like money you deposit in a bank account:
Your willpower is like money in a bank account. It has a limited supply. On any given day, you have only so much to spend. If you are like most people, you have things to do. And, you have goals and dreams to accomplish. You really want to amplify your willpower to help keep you on track. Willpower is your spiritual currency. It’s what gives you the mental focus to reach goals. So, most people want to increase or amplify it.
For example, your goal is to live a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating the right diet and exercise daily. To accomplish these goals you must eat right for your health needs. So, you must either pack a healthy lunch or go to a restaurant that serves the type of food supporting your diet. You also plan to go to the gym directly after work to exercise.
These are good plans. You know from experience you need to plan lunch carefully. Otherwise, you may be tempted to eat things you shouldn’t, like pizza. Consequently, if you fail to eat the right type of lunch then you are less likely to go to the gym. When you stick to your plan and resist the temptation this is a deposit to your willpower bank. Thus, enabling you to be more likely to go to the gym. Making a deposit actually increases your likelihood to make more deposits. This reinforces your goal of living a healthy lifestyle. The greater your bank account the stronger you are in resisting temptations.
Then at some point, you fail to stay on track. No big deal. You have willpower reserves to keep you from being over critical. Because when you beat yourself up for failing, chances are you’ll continue to fail.
2. Willpower is also like a Muscle:
Muscles will grow stronger if you routinely subject them to the right amount of resistance. Your willpower is like a muscle. When you employ it, you will encounter resistance to whatever goal you have set. However, by pushing back against the resistance you grow stronger. This enables you to take on greater challenges.
The above example of planning and resisting the temptation to eat pizza for lunch applies here too. By planing and eating a healthy lunch, it builds the strength of your willpower. The resistance is the temptation to eat pizza for lunch. The resistance may also come to go to the gym after work. If you are tired from a hard day you may need to dip into your willpower reserve in order to do what is right. This is a challenge that will come up again each day, so you must employ your willpower routinely to meet these goals. It’s important to remember you’ll have opportunities throughout the day to make deposits and withdrawals, to build or deplete your willpower. Above all, fill your life with hope and allow yourself to become vulnerable. Open your eyes to social injustice. Learn to live a courageous life.
It’s important to set short-term or incremental goals that are within your reach. Much like the muscles of your body, if you set your goal too high you won’t be able to meet the challenge. If the goal or challenge is too large, and you continually fail to meet them, instead of building muscle and getting stronger, lofty goals can become a source of discouragement. Thus, degrading your willpower. That doesn’t mean you should not have big dreams, it just means you need to break them down into small goals. This brings us to the next observation.
3. Your Attitude Affects your Willpower:
The connection between your attitude, emotions and your ability to turn down pizza for lunch is not always obvious. But there is a significant link here. A stressful day at work can affect your attitude and emotions in a negative way. This, in turn, weakens your willpower and you find yourself giving in to the temptation to have pizza for lunch, which then leads to not going to the gym.
The first and most important thing to remember is that we all fail. Eventually, we get off track. So, put things in perspective. Start again. Start over again. Affirmations are a good tactic to use to help keep your attitude from becoming a pessimistic downward spiral. Here’s an Affirmations Playbook to assist with managing your thought life. Practice self-care and exercises to increase your personal power.
The key is being “present” enough to realize what’s going on with your attitude and emotions and making the course correction necessary. Even if you’ve given in, and have pizza for lunch, which will happen because we are all human and are apt to fail. However, you can still make it a win for your willpower by finding the strength to go to the gym. Or, if you have a bad day and eat pizza and fail to go to the gym, don’t beat yourself up. Simply, start over again the next day.
If you find yourself in a pattern of behavior where you are constantly failing to meet your goals, then short-term goals so that you can. If you can’t make it all week without pizza, then give yourself permission to pizza only one day a week. After you meet this goal then stretch it to ten days and so on…
Your willpower is money in a bank account. And, you have goals and dreams to accomplish. So, you need to have as much of this mental currency as possible.
If this article resonates, there are more on our blog. Also, you may be interested in learning about our blended learning process. This is our curriculum which we use to teach several mind-expanding tools. It also aligns the Hero’s Journey. This is the term Joseph Campbell gave the pattern of consciousness development. Our learning process is available in two forms. You can take part in the virtual learning module or in our workshops.
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