Six tools for those who lack willpower

The clever one wants to own himself – the child wants sweets,” said Rumi, a Persian Sufi poet of the XIII century. Without developed willpower, it is difficult to imagine a successful person. The good news is that it is possible to find the willpower. Use these tools to develop and strengthen in itself this quality.

Experiment on yourself to create a base

Athletes are people with well-developed willpower. The ultra-marathonist, the legendary conqueror of Everest, Kilian Journet, in his book “Nothing is impossible” talks kingessays about the importance of building a foundation so that in the future we can use our resources to the fullest. He talks about it in relation to sports, but in life it will come in handy too.

“Running fast is important to win races, but speed alone is not enough,” writes Kilian. – We have to realise that we’re not able to exceed the physiological limits of our bodies; but we can do something else – build a powerful base of elements such as mental training, sports technique, equipment and strategy.

Focus on one thing


In this multitask age it is common to set unrealistic tasks before the will power. Maybe the problem is the wrong strategy? Again, let’s give the example of Kilian Jornet. He has conquered many peaks the fastest in the world. He wins the competitions and continues to challenge himself. One of his secrets is single-tasking. “The main cycle in an athlete’s life: eat, train, train, sleep. Nothing else”, writes Kilian. Of course, an ordinary man can hardly concentrate so much. After all, there is still family, life, study, friends. But you can at least try to focus on what is important.

Put the tasks right

Imagine that there’s a remote in your head. It is controlled by two characters: a rational type – someone responsible for making rational decisions and… the monkey of momentary pleasure. Unlike the rational type monkey can not learn from the past and based on them somehow correct the present to affect the future. The monkey has only “here and now”, writes Maxim Dorofeev in his book “The Jedi Way”.

Automate everything you can

Automate everything
Automate everything

The power of will is a limited resource. Having made a certain number of decisions, you will no longer be able to think as logically and quickly as you did at the beginning of the day. You’ll run out of thought fuel. To avoid this, try to automate everything that is possible. Set up auto-payments, make templates for standard letters, find reliable companies and work with them so that each time you don’t waste time and effort on finding new ones.
Even the rules you follow help you not waste time and energy. For example, you choose to go to work in the official style – black bottom, white top. Now you don’t have to think about what to wear. Women may be bored, but you can make other rules.

Relax regularly

The will power passes before stress. Reaction to stress fills your body with energy to act instinctively and takes it away from your brain, which would use it to make wise decisions. Remember: stress, physical or psychological, is the enemy of self-control. One of the best ways to recover from stress is relaxation, writes Kelly McGonegal in Will Force. According to research, if you find time for her every day, it will strengthen her health and increase the willpower reserve.

Start with a little

Self-control can be “pumped up” if you train regularly. Try to take small steps that you usually jump without noticing.

For example, in one study, people were asked to set an interim time frame for themselves and follow it. You can think of them for any task that you will not do anything about, such as cleaning the pantry. Timeframes can be as follows:

Week 1 – open the door and look at the mess;

Week 2 – clean up the tops;

Week 3 – throw away everything that relates to the rearrangement time;

Week 4 – well, you understand.