What is willpower? And how to improve willpower? Some sense of self-control, resilience, ability to stick to a goal in spite of obstacles? It’s actually more of a folk wisdom term. In the popular press, people with a “lot of willpower” are thought to be strong, competent and in control. In contrast, people who struggle with behavioral change are thought of as being weak-willed or lacking willpower.
The most well-known experiment, the “marshmallow experiment,” started by psychologist Walter Mischel. in the 1960s. He offered 4-year-olds the choice of a marshmallow now, or two if they could wait 15 minutes. He and other researchers then tracked the performance of these children as they became adults. They found that children who resisted temptation achieved greater academic success, better health, and lower rates of marital separation and divorce. Mischel concluded that the ability to delay gratification constituted “a protective buffer against the development of all kinds of vulnerabilities later in life.”
How to improve your willpower
Everyone needs strong willpower. To improve willpower you need to take some efforts and have control of your mind. How can you do that? By asking yourself one small yet powerful question first thing in the morning: What is the one thing I am committed to completing today? Why is this question important?
- It simplifies your life so that you don’t overwhelm yourself with too many choices you need to make on any given day.
- Willpower encourages you to think strategically about your life one day at a time.
- Your will keeps you focused on your goals instead of getting distracted by other things.
- It forces you to prioritize what is relevant to you.
- It serves as a personal promise to yourself to do something you’ve identified as critical to your personal progress.
How can you incorporate it into your daily life?
You must have heard about the law of attraction, the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on. You have to attract strong will power. Following things you can try if you may.
- Write it down: take a large sheet of paper and write the question in big bold letters.
- Hang it on your bedroom or bathroom wall so it’s easy to see.
- Make it part of a unique background for your computer or cell phone.
- Use it as the main heading at the top of your journal entry for each day.
- Ask the question aloud as you are brushing your teeth or getting ready.
- Give an answer on the spot out loud, or write it down in your journal.
How to improve the quality of life?
- You ensure that you use your willpower only for what is most important to you, and you don’t waste it on things that are trivial, irrelevant, or distracting in any way.
- When you are focused on your personal commitments, it gives you a sense of purpose. It gives your life meaning, helps you understand you have something of value to contribute, and improves the quality of your day to day life.
- Knowing in advance the work you need to accomplish saves you time so that you don’t waste hours evaluating multiple priorities throughout the day.
- Committing to just ONE thing helps your brain perform more optimally, freeing it from cluttered thoughts and giving it space to concentrate on what you consider the most important goal of the day.
Also Read: 8 Simple techniques to improve memory