Some people have an extraordinary ability to do anything they set their mind to (or not do things they set their mind to avoid).
I’m no master, but I like to think I have fairly strong willpower.
I gave it some thought recently and I think I’ve figured out the secret to willpower.
The Problem With Options?
Part of the reason so any people fail to accomplish what they set their mind to is that they are only partially committed to their goal. They have left open other options.
True willpower requires you to create a circumstance where there is only one option.
- It’s the mindset of the diabetic who “gives up” drinking, a candy addiction, and an otherwise high carbohydrate diet.
- It’s the mindset of the person with celiacs disease that must “give up” pizza, pasta, bread and other gluten-filled delights.
- It’s the mindset of the person who just had triple bypass surgery that quits smoking and gives up bacon.
These are people who probably don’t “want” to give up these things, but they must…there is no option. It becomes easier to stick to the plan when the only other option is losing a foot, extreme illness, or possible death.
I have found that the secret to willpower is to create a mindset within myself where there is only one option.
When I quit smoking (both times), it was because I took the approach that smoking was simply no longer an option. I had tried several times before it, but I wasn’t serious…I hadn’t adopted the right mindset.
When I was married, I never feared that I would cheat on my wife, because it was simply not an option. I didn’t even see other women that way anymore.
It sounds simple, yet it is very difficult to do. See the goal, and remove all other options as if they are life-threatening.
The secret of willpower is the same as the secret of so many things: intense focus and commitment.