Willpower Is Not Enough

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To have willpower is to control one’s natural impulses and actions by exhibiting self-control and self-discipline that enables someone to do something despite the difficulties involved.

Imagine this. You are in a boat in the middle of the ocean.  It has an autopilot that is set for a particular location. Once it is set all you have to do is let it go and it will head directly to the location that it is set for.  When the wind or current knocks it off course, the autopilot makes adjustments and corrects itself.

If you change your mind and decide to head to a different location, you could grab the wheel and physically force it to head in the new direction from where the autopilot is programmed. By pure willpower you could overcome the autopilot but you would feel constant resistance. Your arms would eventually tire of the stress. You would let go of the steering wheel and the boat would instantly head back in the original direction.

Willpower says, “I’ll force myself to eat less, to get in shape, have a more positive demeanor, to do the activities that will make me more successful.” But if your autopilot is set for a different location, you are fighting an unwinnable battle.  You can create short term change but also you create constant internal stress because you haven’t dealt with the root cause, where your auto-pilot is set.

What is it you are subconsciously headed toward? Is it success? Is it self-imposed punishment? Change the way you think and change the way you live.

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6 thoughts on “Willpower Is Not Enough

  1. John Smith says:

    Interesting and vivid analogy …

  2. Alex Jones says:

    The human mind follows habits rather like your auto-pilot analogy, but even the auto-pilot can be reprogrammed.

  3. So very true! Our thoughts become our actions and our actions our habits! Willpower isn’t enough, we also have to change the way we think and thus, change our environment!
    I’m currently working on this – I’m telling myself that jogging will not kill me, it really won’t. The blister on my foot isn’t going to get infected and cause gangrene, and my lungs really aren’t going to explode, they really can get enough oxygen to keep me alive.
    I hope that in the next couple of days I’ll actually believe myself! 🙂

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