Imagine when something needs to be done, you could just do it — with no resistance, no excuses and no procrastination.
You may not feel all that strongly about doing it, but you can just get yourself to do it, on-demand.
What could you accomplish?
Almost anything you want I believe.
That’s the power of the virtues of willpower and volition.
What Are Willpower and Volition?
Willpower and volition are the same.
Willpower is the conscious control that you exert to do something, or to stop yourself from doing something.
Volition is the virtue that describes the use of willpower. It is the faculty of using one’s will, and acting on-demand.
Essentially, this means if you know something is good for you, you act on it. If you know that something is bad for you, can can refrain from acting on it.
Why Are Willpower and Volition Important?
The obvious advantage of willpower and volition is in being able to do more things that are good for you, and fewer things that are bad for you. Over time, these are small advantages that accumulate.
When practiced daily, volition can lead to:
- The creation of good habits, and
- The removal of bad habits.
This is the ability to guide your own self-evolution and development, and the ability to step outside of your comfort zone on a regular basis.
In turn, these things lead to progress across every area of your life, be it better health, wealth, relationships or anything else that you want.
How to Live With Volition Daily
Living with volition daily comes down to that split second when you decide to do something right now… or not.
When that moment arrives, you simply do the right thing.
Even if it feels like a strain or extra effort, you do it.1That strain or effort is you using up some willpower.
A System for Living With Volition and Exercising Willpower
It is usually recharged when we go to sleep, or when we go on vacation for some downtime.
It is absolutely possible to run out of willpower if we overdo things.
The best way to systematically live with volition is to approach it from two sides:
- Use less willpower.
- Increase your willpower capacity.
1. Using less willpower
Using less willpower can be done by setting up actions so that they require less willpower.
This can be done through changing our environment and improving our personal systems.
An example of this is automating repetitive and boring tasks like saving email receipts, or outsourcing tedious tasks like cleaning.
You will still have to use some willpower, but usually less.
2. Increasing your willpower capacity
Increasing your willpower is a matter of both mind and body.
For your mind, you can and should practice using your willpower at every opportunity. Over time, you will simply become “one of those people with strong willpower”.
You can also reframe the use of willpower as not “exerting willpower”, but “releasing your natural store of willpower”.
For your body, you can work on improving the energetic foundation of your time management stack — working on your stressors, inner game, sleep, meditation and exercise. The stronger this energetic and physical foundation is, the more willpower you will have available.
What To Do Next
Willpower and its related virtue volition, can be built and developed by anyone.
You can start by practicing volition daily.
Then set up your environment to use less willpower, whilst increasing your physical store of willpower.
To get started, read about the time management stack here or energy management here.
- That strain or effort is you using up some willpower.
Photo by Charles Deluvio.