From the Chief Editor

Enhance your willpower

Where there is a will, there is a way,” thus goes the proverb. Many people believe they can improve their lives if only they have a strong willpower. With greater self-control we would all be better disciplined, and so can study well, eat right, exercise regularly, avoid drugs and alcohol, save for future, stop procrastinating, and achieve one’s goals. Lack of willpower is the main barrier for change, growth and a healthy lifestyle.

Lack of willpower is not the only reason you might fail to reach your goals. Willpower researchers describe three necessary components for achieving goals: The first, you need to have the motivation for change and set a clear goal. The second, you need to monitor your behaviour towards that goal. The third component is willpower. Whether your goal is to kick a bad habit, study more or spend less time on social media, willpower is an indispensable element in achieving that target.

Arabian horses go through rigorous training in the deserts of the Middle East. The trainer demands absolute discipline from the horses. The final test is almost beyond endurance. The trainer forces the horses to go without water for many days. Then he leaves them loose and they run towards the water, but just as they get to the edge, ready to drink, the trainer blows his whistle. The horses that have been fully trained and have perfect control stop. They turn around and come pacing back to the trainer. They stand quivering, wanting water, but they wait in tremendous control. When the trainer is sure that they are in perfect control, he gives them a signal to go back to drink. If an animal can be trained to such an extent how much more we humans can train ourselves – not by force but by choice!

Here are some tips to strengthen your willpower and become a stronger person: Do not let your mind drift with every emotion. Keep it focused at all times. This is not easy but your mind will soon understand that you hold its reins and not vice versa. Your will is like a muscle. You must first exercise to make it stronger. This necessarily involves short-term pain but your character will grow in a positive direction. When you are working over a difficult task and your mind is prompting you to pick up the latest magazine for a break or to get up and go talk to a friend, curb the impulse. Soon you will be able to sit for hours in a flawless state of concentration.

You can also build your willpower by practising restraint in your conduct with others. Restrain the urge to gossip or to condemn someone who you feel has wronged you or made a mistake. In your darkest hours it is your willpower that can strengthen you. Lack of willpower has caused more failures than any other reason. Your will can direct your thoughts to be constructive and lead you to success. Willpower is the proven shortcut to success; hence the need to enhance your willpower.

John Gilbert, SSP is the former Chief Editor of The Teenager Today, India's only TeenZine.

John Gilbert, SSP

John Gilbert, SSP is the former Chief Editor of The Teenager Today, India's only TeenZine.