I am starting on my journey to a better and healthier me. I must confess, this is not the first time I have planned to do this. Every single time I try to improve my health, the longest sustained period I ever had was 1 month. Over the years, I found out I am an expert at creating excuses as to why I can’t instead of why I can. At one time, I totally gave up, just didn’t care until one day I was hospitalized for high blood pressure. Even then, I still did not make any drastic changes.
What change? During one of my business trips, a manager kept hammering about how fat I was, and told our clients to dismiss me because I am fat. I hadn’t begun to show what I could do, and they just judged me because of how I look. To be honest, this fucking hurts, and during the night, I think back to all the times I have been ridiculed because of my weight. I love the beach, but whenever I go to the beach, my friends will joke about how fat I am and make fun of me at my expense. Every time we go to eat, there is always this one friend who says “don’t worry about ordering, if we can’t finish there is always William”.
But every time I try to make a change, I always end up getting fatter or stay the same. This time, I am approaching my journey like how I approach my work. I research, I read and experiment and am not afraid about my failures – learn from them and move on. For sustained change, I notice at first my motivation will be at an all-time high. I can take action without any effort, but as time goes by, I drawn on my will power. When both resources are depleted, I find myself taking the easy way out, start to procrastinate, making excuses, and before I know it, I am back where I started or worse.
So which is most important; Motivation or Willpower? My answer will be both. When motivation depletes, will power will keep you going. When will power is gone, motivation is what keeps you on the path. It is a cycle, like the Chinese Taoist symbol of the yin and yang. Both must exist to create a beautiful harmony. Of course there are hacks that can help you gain motivation and willpower.
Lets start with motivation. By understanding what motivation is, then you will know how to get it. What is motivation? It is easier to understand it through an analogy. Motivation is like the spark to ignite your car. No matter how much fuel you have, without the initial ignition, the car won’t start. So if motivation is the spark, how can you constantly get more spark? Just like ignition for your car, one day it will run out and you need to replace it with a new one, so you, too, need to keep replenishing it.
“People often says motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that is why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar
Here are some ways to replenish your motivation:
- Your reason why you need to change
- Watch a movie that inspires you (For me is is “Unbeatable”, you can learn more about the movie under the resource section)
- Listen to motivation music, I will include info below under the resource section
- Have a friend join you in this journey or join an online community
- Have a coach to motivate you and push you
- Journaling, keep track of your progress
- Have an accountable partner
- Use your pain as leverage
The more you add the above, the more motivation you can access too. When one method burns out, switch to the next one or a combination. Keep adding to it, keep adding your why, your reason, or your pain to move you.
Next is your fuel, that keeps you sustained on the journey. For me personally, will power is all about reducing it. The less you use, the better. Huh? What? My past has shown me, the more willpower I use, the faster I burn out my willpower. What do I mean? If I wanted to work out the next day, when I woke up, I started packing the cloths and equipment I needed, got dressed and went to the gym. Nothing wrong, right? Yeah, packing usually takes me 10-15minutes and is a long time to give myself an excuse why I should stay in bed and workout after work rather than before work. After work, I am so tired I will give myself an excuse why I should not work out and I “promise” myself why I should do it tomorrow instead. Right now I just pack everything I need before bed and sleep in my workout cloths, the next day I wake up, I just grab and go. This, I found, out is the optimum way for me. The less decisions I need to make, the easier to take action upon. Don’t take my word for it, read the research here. Lets look at another example. If you’re losing weight and want to avoid your favourite junk food, like doughnuts for example, if within your room there is readily a doughnut for you to eat, how hard would you resist the temptation? Pretty hard to do, right, if you’re a doughnut lover? Now same situation but now the doughnut is under a huge stack of books and closed in a safe that you need to access through a lock and a 6 digit number pin. It makes it easier to resist the temptation because accessing the doughnut takes so much effort. This is how will power works. The less you use, the easier you are able to sustain it. Planning and sticking to the plan is the best course of action.
So how do you use less of your willpower? Here are some suggestions:
- Remove junk food in your home
- Have healthy snacks in your desk readily available
- Eat healthy in your house before you go hangout with your friends
- Plan ahead
- Remove as many obstacles as you can
By combining both, that is how you can have prolonged change of your habits. Keep your motivation close and remove willpower as much as you can. Balancing both is key to your victory. When you find out that you lack the motivation, go through your list again, use your willpower if you must, but remember keep adding to your list on how to keep motivated. The journey is much easier when you have a group of friends cheering you on and plan ahead to reduce your willpower. Through trial and error you will find your perfect balance.
The last thing to remember, it is okay to make mistake, to slip up. Just shrug it off, pick yourself up and move on from there. Don’t beat yourself up – the world is full of circumstances, people and corporations to push you down. You don’t need to add yourself to the list of things why you should fail. Trust and love yourself, believe in yourself that you got this, I got this. Take it one step at a time, make better decisions each day, take action each day, and when your positive action outweight your negative action you will start to see changes.
Become Limtless. Do you think it possible? What if i told you that there a course to help you unlock your potential and be whoever and whatever you wish to be. He is a modern Jedi Master and he goes by the name of Vishen Lakhiani. His is CEO and Founder of Mindvalley, the world leading personal development course. In his course, he uses his experience, his insight, his secret visualizing technique and jedi like meditation practice to push you into Becoming Limitless. I after gone through his course have become more confident, and having more success with my career and now taking care of my health once and for all.
If you are interested to see how deep the rabbit hole goes, i urge you to take the red pill and discover how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Willpower Research :