willpower myth

Willpower definition:

“Control exerted to do something or restrain impulses.”

‘most of our bad habits are due to laziness or lack of willpower’

‘he summoned his willpower to resist the spell’

Reference: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/willpower

“Energetic determination”

‘Oftentimes, willpower is promoted as the only thing a person needs to improve their health.’

Reference: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/willpower

InSights on Willpower

  • You look for energy to pull you in one direction because you feel a thought-created pull in the opposite direction. Therefore, you resist that opposing pull and call this energy willpower. I consider willpower and the supposed need for it a societal fallacy, few ever question it. Here’s an example to give a better understanding of this InSight: Imagine this – You’re on a nutrition plan to lose weight and you start thinking about the cookies in the cupboard that your spouse bought. You now resist the urge that your thought created, which is to go into that cupboard and have a cookie (or 2). So what do you do? You muster up all your willpower to resist doing what you don’t want to do. Now, most people would think they’re resisting the cookies, but in actuality, they’re resisting the thought of eating the cookies. Keep in mind, we only resist a thought because we have labelled it as bad or undesirable. You then attempt to will the thought away with all of your willpower and live in a state of resistance. As the old saying goes, what you resist will persist. The urge/craving will never truly go away. It may feel that way because you’ve suppressed it via resistance, but it will always come back, usually more often than you’d like. Instead of trying to push that thought and subsequent craving away, sit with the thought and feeling without judgment. Accept it as it enters your consciousness, give it permission to be there and don’t fear it or judge it. See it as just a thought, no more and no less, because that is all it is, it cannot hurt you. This will allow you to let the thought go resistance-free and the urge/craving then slowly dissolves on its’ own. And the need for willpower diminishes once we dissolve the source of the resistance.

  • Is will power necessary? Yes, but only when you don’t go deep enough within yourself to dissolve your resistance. Get still and ask yourself: Where is this resistance coming from? What are the thoughts I’m believing that are creating this resistance within me? Who am I to be in order to dissolve this resistance?

  • Willpower is like driving with one foot on the brake and pressing the gas pedal harder while the fuel tank runs out faster, all in an attempt to generate momentum. Wouldn’t it be easier to just let go of the brake (thought) to eliminate friction and conserve fuel? Just a thought. Release attachment to the security of holding on to the brake or gas (thought) and set yourself free to move forward more gracefully instead of forcefully.

  • All emotional resistance within yourself is thought-created. This is helpful to know because when you can see the resistance for what it is, a thought believed, it begins to hold less and less power. Thus, absolving the need to generate power from your will to resist this thought and expend unnecessary additional energy.

  • Willpower doesn’t really seem to be power at all, it more resembles force. We are forcing momentum in a specific direction against a high friction resistance (a resisted thought). Force is needed due to the friction we have created within ourselves via our thoughts.

  • Fighting power with force is exhausting and inefficient, it requires a massive amount of energy. Think of a time when you had to exert a large amount of will power (force) toward something, how did you feel after? Drained? Exhausted? Most likely. Imagine you were able to conserve this energy and direct it toward your creativity instead? How would that feel?

  • Find your stillpower instead of your willpower. Once you experience the power of stillness, your perception of willpower will change forever. Your stillpower is that quiet place within you that is the source for all of your inspiration and wisdom. It’s not forceful like willpower, as force is not needed, it’s resistance-free inspiration, it breathes life into you.

  • Look beyond the thought created resistance that’s taunting you to fire up all of your inner resources and put them toward your willpower, leaving you with little energy left for anything else. When you look beyond these thoughts, there is a quiet space awaiting you, your stillpower. Look toward that and a whole new landscape will arise.

  • Manipulate your environment to eliminate resistance, and therefore the need for willpower. For example, a couple of years ago when I first started implementing a morning ritual, my plan was to start waking up 1 hour earlier than normal. What I did to make this much easier on myself was I manipulated my environment by placing my cell phone across the room. When my alarm went off in the morning, I had to get out of bed in order to shut it off, and if I didn’t shut it off my wife would have killed me, so it left me no choice but to jump out of bed.

Learn from all of your experiences,

opportunities are everywhere.

Take care,

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