Will: The Power Within

Self-discipline has been described as the asser­tion of willpower over more base desires. Willpower is an essen­tial part of set­ting, stick­ing to, and achiev­ing goals. Whether you want to lose weight, stop smok­ing, or mas­ter a musi­cal instru­ment, you need the will to work toward your goal and to help you fight through obsta­cles to claim your prize.

The fact that willpower is essen­tial to accom­plish­ing goals doesn’t mean that every­body is blessed with deep reserves of the stuff. Willpower is some­thing that can be devel­oped, and that requires work. Think of your will as a mus­cle. The more you exer­cise it, the stronger it will become. Here are a few hints you may find help­ful in build­ing up your willpower:

  • Keep your goal in mind. Remem­ber what it is your try­ing to do, and why. Keep­ing your eyes on the prize will help keep you motivated.
  • Take it one day at a time. Don’t let your­self look too far down the road. That can over­whelm you and you’ll lose your way.
  • Van­quish lazi­ness. Do some­thing that will help you towards your goal every­day. It doesn’t have to be some­thing huge. Every lit­tle bit helps. Doing some­thing every­day will help you stay on track.
  • Start small. Break your goal into lit­tle pieces. Accom­plish­ing the lit­tle tasks will help build your con­fi­dence. Once you feel com­fort­able accom­plish­ing smaller tasks, you can move onto big­ger things.
  • Keep good com­pany. Sur­round your­self with sup­port­ive friends and fam­ily who can help keep you stoked about what you’re try­ing to do. Avoid Neg­a­tive Nan­cys and Nor­mans like the plague.
  • Elim­i­nate “quit”, “give up”, and “can’t” from your vocab­u­lary. Don’t give your self-doubt a voice.
  • Never sur­ren­der. Real­ize when you’ve been beaten, but look for what you can learn from your defeats. It’s okay to lose a few bat­tles as long as you don’t give up on win­ning the war.
  • Keep on try­ing. Nobody ever accom­plished any­thing worth accom­plish­ing with­out fail­ing, and most of the time, they failed many, many times. Don’t let that wither your desire to achieve your goal. Get back up, dust your­self off, and give it another shot. You only really lose when you stop trying.