Will, the 6 pillars of self-control

Do you know the importance of willpower and its strength? Most people think that only abilities, whether physical or mental, matter. And yet, will is the ultimate strength that will allow you to reach all your goals and accomplish your life projects.

It is a fact that the will is often constrained by the temptations that abound every day. Also, the lack of self-control is often accompanied by choices that go against your values. Fortunately, it is possible for you to make a difference and bring about a positive change in your life.

To help you do so, this article will allow you to :

Know the meaning of willpower
Understanding its importance
Discover 6 tracks to learn how to develop yours!

The will in all its facets

General willpower is defined as the ability to exercise self-control and to ignore obstacles. It is the ability to resist short-term temptations to achieve long-term goals. When a greater long-term reward is at stake, it can serve as the motivation needed to get around potential barriers.

Essentially, it is mental energy that allows you to direct your actions into four categories of behaviour.

# Thoughts
Every day you are assailed by a large amount of thoughts. And these can sometimes overwhelm you or divert you from your path… Willpower helps you focus on what you want to think, keeping unwanted and intrusive thoughts at bay.

# Emotions
Whether you are aware of it or not, you have a great capacity to manage your emotions. By developing your willpower, you will learn not to let your negative emotions overwhelm you to develop positive emotions!

# Impulses
Impulses could be compared to imponderable cravings. For example: “I want to eat this piece of cake. For example: “I want to eat this piece of cake,” “I want to stay connected on social networks instead of working. “Although there are ways to minimize the number of impulses that occur each day, you don’t have direct control over them if they appear in your mind. But willpower helps you regulate how you respond to the impulse. Will you ignore it or give in to temptation?

# Performance control
It deals with how you can concentrate on a task, how long you can hold on before giving up, how much effort you spend during the different phases of an exercise, how you manage your time, etc.

The will according to the philosophy

The definition of will in philosophy implies the concept of freedom of choice, which is governed by reason, the moral sense. It is also similar to free will between the present and future wishes. Will can also be seen as a regulator of human behavior or tendencies.

# Will and intention
The notion of will is closely related to intention. In this context, it involves intentional thinking. This will make it possible to outline the action that will result from it and its consequences. It follows the decision making for a passage to concrete action. Generally speaking, the will is thus schematized as a project, reflection, decision and action.

Through its different schemas, it is totally dissociated from desire and passion. So to speak, desire is spontaneous and irrational. It is something you can neither plan nor control.

However, a point of convergence links these three notions. It is self-knowledge. It allows you to bring out your passion and desire. It also manifests itself by a will that wants to grow.

Measuring the importance of willpower

Willpower and intelligence are the two factors that most often lead people to higher levels of happiness, health and success. So when it comes to improving your life, will seems to be an indispensable tool!

Studies show that people who have more self-control are fitter, perform better and have healthier relationships. A high level of willpower is also correlated with a high IQ.

Other studies have shown that people with higher levels of self-control are more emotionally stable and struggle less with anger, anxiety, depression and drug and alcohol abuse. And all of these benefits are true even when outcomes are controlled by other parameters such as social class, nationality and intellectual level.

Thus, you can understand the eminent power of the will…

Boost your willpower to use it wisely

What you need to know is that willpower is akin to muscles:

  • Muscles become stronger when they are exercised.
    And they can be overworked, leaving them weak until they have a chance to recover.
    However, working on your willpower is a little different than working on your abs, but both routines require you to repeat your work over a long period of time.

Setting small goals that you will achieve on a regular basis is the best way to increase your willpower. As with your body, if you overdo it by aiming for a bigger challenge, you won’t be stronger. On the contrary, you risk exhausting your motivation.

Be yourself

.It takes a lot of effort to transform your personality, preferences and values. Not surprisingly, it takes a lot of willpower. When it comes to willpower, you are at a greater advantage when you demonstrate spiritual alignment: you establish a healthy relationship with yourself in accordance with your values. 

One step at a time

People often give up not because they lack the will, but because they feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the goal they have to achieve. A good way to deal with this overwhelming feeling is to break the goal down into manageable steps.

The effectiveness of this strategy is that it ensures not only success, but also your stock of willpower. By achieving each sub-goal, you will derive an enormous sense of satisfaction and pride, making it much easier to move on to the next step. When you reach the final goal, you are more likely to feel a sense of abundance and strength.

Do not remain in a constant state of exhaustion of the will.

While exercising self-control is a great way to build willpower, you will need to give your determination a break. You will need to gradually move out of your comfort zone. This is how you will gradually move up the ladder towards achieving your goals. Each day, you will set yourself a small challenge to fight your demons. In the end, you will be able to live with them without having to fight them continuously.

Build good habits

When people are stressed, they tend to fall back on ingrained habits, whether useful or harmful. Often it is an unconscious choice.

So start responding to mild stressors with healthier choices, such as listening to soothing music. You can also find more comfort through motivational quotes. In the end, you’ll find that encouraging a good mood will help you overcome the effects of willpower exhaustion.

Use your imagination

Imagination, as well as creativity, are powerful techniques to improve willpower. The body often responds to imaginary situations in the same way as it responds to real-life situations. If you imagine yourself lying on a peaceful beach, listening to the waves along the shore, your body will respond by relaxing. If instead, you imagine being late for an important meeting, you will be tense. You can use it to your advantage to nourish your willpower. Indeed, imagination allows you to get past those cravings that erode your self-control.

Think about something else

How can you avoid thinking about a situation that tempts you or fills you with dread? Practice thinking about something else: every time dark thoughts start to creep into your consciousness, think of something more pleasant. By cultivating a positive attitude, you will gradually be able to change your thoughts.

Don’t underestimate this simple technique. Distraction can help you so much that it teaches you to focus on what is more important to you than the futile temptations that take you away from your goals.

As you can see, willpower is a limited but renewable resource. It is not innate but is acquired with the right habits. It is up to you to find your own by following your aspirations.

And you, what are your sources of will? How do you nourish them?

Where does willpower come from?

The force of will is defined as the ability to direct and control our own actions.

Metaphysicians and religious scholars point out that this force arises exclusively from one’s own free will.

However, psychoanalysts have dealt a major blow to the concept of ‘will’, and even more so to that of ‘will power, by discovering the secrets of the unconscious.

When we have conscious, well-defined goals but do not convert them into action, the solution is not to force ourselves to act on them.

These situations are not negative, they give us a message that we need to listen to. Something is blocking our will to act in a certain direction.

In reality, what we lack is not the strength of will, but the triumph of a desire of which we are not aware.

If we want to maintain a strict diet, for example, but we also want to eat whatever we want, whenever we want, a conflict is created.

We may start the diet, but we will end up craving a fatty, unhealthy food that appeals to us, and we will then navigate a state that lies between guilt and satisfaction.

What is happening here is that we have rationalised the benefits of eating healthily, but we have not fully understood our desire to eat what we desire.

Food then becomes much more than a taste in the mouth, or a feeling in the stomach.

This urge we feel speaks to us of a deeper desire, which reduces our “willpower” to zero.

And in this case, our willpower does not follow. When we try to do this diet, our desire is opposed to our conscious will.

It is therefore impossible to speak of a lack of character in this situation, but rather of a symptom of the unconscious. If this symptom is deciphered and understood, it will fade away.





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