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Since I was a child I have always heard that with “willpower” we can achieve our objectives. But when I was a child and adolescent I never thought about what willpower really was. Now, I’m about to turn 33 and I ask myself, “What is willpower?”
Since we’re here in the age of the Internet, I Googled it and found that the meaning of willpower is curious: I couldn’t find one concrete definition.
A mountaineering friend said, “Willpower is a myth; what moves us is the desire/interest to achieve something.”
I desire various things; just so, a child living in poverty may desire an education but the simple fact of that desire won’t bring him to achieve it.
Among the definitions of willpower I found this:
What is will? It is the faculty of a human being to govern his or her actions.
What is power? It is force or authority.
Is it then, that willpower is the ability of a human being to govern his or her actions with authority or force?
This is to say, I want, I can and at the end I will achieve it. But this definition doesn’t mention discipline or what discipline has to do with being able to reach your goals. It’s a given that if I don’t follow a plan or exercise discipline or perseverance, I will not achieve those goals. In fact, not following a plan is the same as self-sabotage.
What’s more, I believe applying willpower requires the following steps:
- Selecting an objective
- Creating a plan of attack
- Following the plan.
- ***Always using discipline***
Willpower can take some time to appear in steps 1 and 2, but when you get to step 3, it has to come quick and fast.
For me, willpower worked this way: I said I wanted to break the world record, I am preparing physically and mentally to do so, and I will do it! Because I have faith in myself and in what I can achieve.
I’ll let you think a bit on your own definition of willpower…