Will is the first driver of anything a person does, will is your first weapon against depression, laziness, or indolence. Educate yourself.
Albert Einstein was famous for saying that genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work. This may be true, but I noticed one more thing about the hard work; First, it's not easy to do. Second, people - even the talented ones - try to avoid hard work at all costs.
The thing about doing the difficult things is that you need a lot of willpower to do them. We all tell ourselves that we will eat healthy food starting tomorrow, or work, create a website for ourselves, or learn this new software, but most of us don't actually do these things, because it takes a lot of willpower.
I have noticed over the years that the people around me who truly accomplish their work were simply people who mastered enough willpower to do them. I noticed this in me too, some things that seem relatively simple to me, like getting up early or reading books, are actually not that easy for others.
This realization made me wonder if willpower is something you are born with - which means that some people have more luck than others - or if it is a muscle that can be developed and improved. I also realized that no matter what effort people put into being better employees, their willpower is not enough, and they will never be able to fulfill their dreams.
Then I did my favorite thing, I read a book about it, called "The Willpower Instinct." The book was very interesting and I would like to share some specific ideas from it that may help you deal with your challenges of willpower, be it work, smoking or food.
Let's start with a question on my mind; It is about whether willpower is something you generate or you can work on. The answer - surprisingly - is both. Yeah! Some people find it easy to get the tough things done, of course, but they are not perfect either; They find other things difficult. We can all greatly increase our capabilities if we understand what affects our willpower.
According to the book that's packed with scientific studies on the topic, willpower is kind of a warehouse in our brain. Sometimes it is empty, then we "make mistakes"; We eat junk food and buy junk that we don't need to waste time instead of working on what we should be working on. Sometimes this warehouse is full and we manage to be "strong" and not drawn, and then we get around what we said we should do. We do the hard work and invest in ourselves and our long-term goals. Here are some tips to increase your willpower.
Our physical condition affects our willpower
This means three things:
You have to sleep well.
You have to eat well.
You have to practice.
If you get 6-7 hours of sleep every night, know that your willpower will be less than it can be. Good sleep has always been important to me, and I hate staying up all night at work and school, so I'm glad to know that science supports this bad thing for you. If you don't eat enough, skip meals, or just eat junk food, your willpower will drop.
It's true there's a little bit of confusion here - you need willpower to eat well, and you need to eat well to create willpower - but that's how it works. The same goes for exercise too - it affects your willpower as well. But you'll be glad to know that you don't need to go to the gym every day. Even an activity like a five-minute walk can help fill your warehouse of willpower.
Will is contagious:
Studies have shown that willpower behaves like an epidemic. It can be infectious. This research shows, for example, that if you are around mostly obese people, you are in a higher risk group of becoming obese.
I remember when we were children and our mother used to tell us, “So what if everyone else did that? If everyone jumps off the roof, will you, too? '' Of course we learn to be individuals and we like to believe that we make rational decisions on our own, but studies have shown that this is not the way things work. In fact, if everyone else jumps off the roof of the house, you might want to join them.
If everyone in your office devours their faces with cake and candy every day, then there's a good chance you'll eat them, too. On the other hand, if they are all obsessed with health and making salads every day, you should do that too.
I know this is true from my own experience. When I was working for someone and wanted to develop an app in my spare time, the work I was doing with someone else - who did it himself - motivated me and filled me with willpower. He showed me that it could have been done, even though it's incredibly difficult to get up early every morning or work during the weekends.
Your understanding of your willpower will increase it:
I recently read three books on different topics - marriage, parenting and willpower - and all of the three studies mentioned have shown that mindfulness brings with it tremendous improvement in outcomes, whether you are talking about a good marriage, raising a smart and happy child, or dealing with willpower challenges.
Wikipedia defines mindfulness as "an intellectual and psychological approach that aims to focus on the internal and external events taking place in the present moment." For example, one of the hardest things for me is getting addicted to Facebook and reading emails. While I'm working - and without even realizing it - I turn to Facebook every few minutes, or open my email and start answering messages on it. It's hard to be productive this way. But while my full awareness improves, I find myself working and saying to myself: "There is a burning desire to open my Facebook account." The reason this desire arises is the boredom that the work I'm doing makes me feel. Once I become aware of this desire and think about it, many times, it will simply be over. Of course, it doesn't always work this way, but often.
Self-awareness is a skill like anything we do, and this means that acquiring it requires learning and practice. And you must do this often, if you want to be good. The way to do this is meditation. It is funny that the Three Western Books recommend an oriental exercise, but studies say it is feasible.
I've been practicing a daily 20-minute meditation session with HeadSpace for about a year, and it's hard to quantify and tell you exactly how helpful it is, but apart from the fact that I'm really enjoying myself, I suspect it improves my willpower as well and my relationships with other people greatly (it takes a lot of The power of resolve to shut your mouth and not to tell your wife that she is wrong when she gets angry.)
Doing Things Is Easier Than Letting Go:
There are two different types of willpower challenges:
Things I need willpower to do, like going to the club, eating healthy food, and focusing on my work.
Things I need willpower to stop doing, like opening Facebook while working, eating junk food, and buying expensive things that I don't really need.
The book claims that it is easier to focus on the things you want to do than the ones you don't want to do. Believe it or not, studies show there's no evidence that diets are beneficial in the long term. On the contrary, there is a lot of evidence that we get - many times - fat right after a diet, and that people who get fat sometimes and lose weight at other times harm their health in the long term.
The way to deal with these challenges is to try and think about the things you want to do first, rather than blocking the things that you want to do. Are you trying to lose weight? Push yourself better to exercise and cook healthy meals. Do this for a while, and you may find yourself thinking less about the things you want to stop, and that desire will go away on its own.
When I deal with my addiction to social networks and email, I don't try to stop myself from using them, but I tell myself that I have to finish the task X-this first, only then I will allow myself access to Facebook.
Willpower is one of those things we haven't learned in any school, but it has a crucial impact on our lives. The reality is that no one is talking about it, or everyone treating bad willpower as coercive force is wrong in my opinion. The better we have an understanding of why we - and others - behave the way we do, the more likely we are to make our lives look the way we want them to, and also, become better people.