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June 25, 2024

Use Your Will Power Wisely

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I feel like the idea of will-power has gotten a bad reputation. Not only is will-power a bit misunderstood, but it’s a super power.

There are scientific studies that suggest will-power is 2x more likely to predict academic performance in kids than IQ! It’s not the smartest kids who succeed but those who have control over their choices and can delay gratification.

When we impose our conscious will on something it means that we shape what happens despite the circumstances of how we feel or what would be easiest. As you’d expect, this leads to healthier, more productive, more empowered choices and actions. To live our best life it’s very important that we do that, but the way we go about doing it needs a more diverse approach.

That’s because will-power is known to be unsustainable. Like a muscle, as you use it it fatigues. This explains why at the end of the day it’s harder to be disciplined than in the beginning of the day: Because you’ve used your reserves.

This is the very reason why we must use our will-power wisely - So that when we most need it, we have it.

So while it’s true that will-power cannot be your primary source for self-discipline, it plays a very important role in supplementing it. You first must build out systems that support consistency and intentional decision making. Things like accountability, goal setting, and routines help you to be disciplined without needing as much will-power. And given that these are often influencing us at an unconscious level it serves as a more sustainable source of discipline.

So how can will-power best contribute to you being the best version of yourself? There are two ways:

First is to use will-power to establish new systems. Use it to reach out for accountability despite resistance, outline your routine and its sequence of behaviors, and invest the time and energy now to build the system that will work for you later. It’s by getting yourself to design your environment that you can get exponential and recurring returns from your will-power.

The second instance where you can use will-power wisely are in the moments that need a little extra. Almost as if you’re reserving it for when you really need it. Getting out of bed on a tired morning, initiating your morning routine, exiting out of social media and putting your phone on Do Not Disturb. These micro-moments of discipline help you interrupt the pattern dn get into the systems you’ve designed that make taking the good, positive, healthy actions consistent and easier.

Protect your will-power. Honor it and use it in the occasions when you most need it. But that’s not constantly, it’s in very specific occasions that kick off your high-performance processes.

If you feel worn out at the end of a long day or like you’re losing the battle to make the healthy choices that you know are best for you, then this could really help. I’ve identified 9 Super Habits that work as systems behind the scenes to support your will-power and make you more disciplined in the most fundamental areas of your life. It only takes 15 minutes to implement all of them every day, and it will change your life!

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