Today, it seems there is a hyper-inflated promise to help you with any need in your life. You can burn fat just by sprinkling magic powder on your food. You can become a millionaire just by believing you can. You can get this result or that result just by doing THIS… etc. So, what about will-power? How easy is that to strengthen?
First of all… what IS will-power? Is it some kind of energy? Is it a nerve pathway? Is it a thinking process? Is it some personality trait? Are some people born with more will-power than others? Can it be strengthened?
Will-power is something I have struggled with due to my addiction. However, I would say I tend to have pretty strong will-power. There are many things in my life that I conquer no problem. I quit drinking over 15 years ago and have never looked back. I stopped smoking then too and even though I’ve been slightly tempted I haven’t smoked another cigarette since I quit. I eat pretty healthy, I live a moderate life. There are many things I have overcome that others struggle with. So, it would seem that my will-power is pretty strong. But, on the other hand… I also have things that are not so easy to overcome. I struggle with lust, sweets, and other things. I’m sure we are all the same that way–we may be strong in some areas and weak in others.
So, it’s not right to say that we have weak will-power or strong will-power. We usually have both!
With that in mind, I’m not so sure that will-power is the problem in areas where we are weak. I think will-power is the RESULT of learning to be strong in some area of your life. I would say my will-power is strong regarding drinking alcohol because I have developed a strong set of skills and a strong mind-set in that area. Areas where I am weak, I have developed a weak set of skills. I have also strengthened my weakness in that area through developing a mindset that fosters that weakness, etc.
There is actually a book called, “Willpower for Dummies”. They claim to help you strengthen your will-power. But, I think it is more about skill-set and mindset that’s at the core of the issue.
My point is… we can get sucked into a weak, self-defeating thought pattern if we focus on will-power. Some will just fold their hands and conclude, “I just have weak will-power so there’s not much I can do.” Some will just feel that they were cursed at birth with an inability to be strong in an area. But, we don’t want to do that. Skills can be learned. Weaknesses can be turned to strengths.
I’m hoping to be learning a lot more about skills and mindset in the near future. I’ll keep you posted on what I find.