Useful Tips

How to cultivate willpower? 4 easy ways


Hello, dear readers of Valery Kharlamov’s blog! How to cultivate willpower, so as not to succumb to momentary temptations and achieve your goals, stubbornly walking towards them, despite obstacles and temptations? How to learn to control yourself and finally quit smoking, finish a boring project and stop eating up before going to bed? This is what will be discussed in today's article because, despite the fact that the will is a component of character, everyone is able to influence it, making it stronger and stronger.


A person with a strong will is distinguished by patience and endurance. He is able to persistently move towards a dream, even if it is difficult and painful. And even if the long-awaited goal does not loom ahead and nothing portends its fulfillment. He is confident in the correctness of his actions, in his life philosophy and strictly adheres to his own rules, maintaining consistency for years. Therefore, strong-willed people are called stable and stubborn.

Due to the fact that he rarely listens to the opinions of others, it is sometimes impossible to convince him of something, the chance for this is given by strong argumentation, the only thing he will pay attention to. The character of a strong-willed person is distinguished by his decisiveness and ability to take risks, as well as his willingness to sacrifice his personal interests for the interests of the society in which he is located. That is why such people are often called heroes and erected monuments in their honor, give out medals and certificates.

If you have a desire to determine your level of willpower, you can take the test.

1. Marshmallow effect

Once, scientists conducted an experiment by closing small children in a room with a bunch of marshmallows and forbidden to touch it, promising a reward. So, the winners were those who managed to escape from the desired goodies. They sang, played with each other and painted, completely forgetting about sweets. And as it turned out, when we start to think about something forbidden, we will surely break loose. So there was a "marshmallow" effect and the main secret of powerful willpower. Therefore, if you quit smoking, you should not get a cigarette, convincing yourself that you just look, the best solution is to switch your attention to something else, telling yourself that you will return to this question later.

2.Keep promises

This is what distinguishes a strong person from the rest, because we understand that we can rely on him no matter what. It’s better not to give the floor if you are not sure that you will master it. If circumstances have changed, be sure to warn in advance so that that person has the opportunity to seek help from other people, and not to unexpectedly say anything directly because of your cowardice. See more here.

3 discipline

The tempering of the spirit begins with discipline, sometimes very tough. Make yourself a schedule, go to bed, wake up at the same time, exercise every day, and most importantly - in no case give in to the desire to abandon everything. Busting yourself, over time you will experience pride in achievement. Make an action plan for a couple of months in advance. Define the main and intermediate goals and remember, as soon as you stop controlling the process - the character starts to weaken, and one day you will have to start again from the very beginning.

4.Try to know yourself better

At what points do you stop, and which, on the contrary, stimulate you to continue to achieve what you want? What are you afraid of? You can see the book by Kelly McGonigal "Willpower. How to develop and strengthen ”, it includes a lot of exercises, oriented to begin with, to know yourself, and then to change any habits and attitudes that prevent tempering your spirit and achieve your goal. This book is very resourceful, serious, but easy to read with a mandatory aftertaste.

5. Motivation

The most powerful way is the right motivation. If a person realizes that he will get what he wants in only one way, provided that he really wants it, he will be ready to endure hardships and wait for as long as necessary, especially if he begins to notice that he is really approaching the goal. Check out the article “Top 10 Techniques for Enhancing Motivation When You Don't Know What to Do to Enhance It”.

6. Balance in assessing consequences

All people react differently to failure and success, and their future activities and quality of life depend on this, in principle. So, scientists have come to the conclusion that if you keep a balance, you can stay afloat for a very long time. I mean, when the victorious finish looms ahead, and your affairs are better than nowhere, do not be too happy and relax. Change your train of thought a bit to be able to see reality and pitfalls.

Yes, it is worth considering the possible difficulties and problems that may unexpectedly arise in your way. And accordingly, about the benefits and resources of what failure will bring, if the mood is terrible and victory is not foreseen. You know that sometimes a loser gets more than a winner, namely an experience that becomes useful and decisive in the future.

What is the will?

Man is always in one of only two possible states. He is either happy or trying to become one. A satisfied person, as a rule, does not think about possible problems. Happy ones do not watch not only hours, but, in general, see little. People usually begin to think only when they fall into a state of frustration, that is, they feel the mismatch of realities with desires. Negative (it is also called negative for some reason, although there is nothing bad in the film), the energy overwhelms the whole being of the unfortunate person, he suffers and demoralizes. Overcoming these destructive consequences can only be exerted by will. External sources will not help, although when they get into trouble, many seek solace in alcohol and other artificial distracting drugs. What is it, will? This concept needs to be defined. Will is the ability of the soul to survive under any circumstances.

7. Daily victory

There are useful exercises aimed at daily victory over oneself. It is necessary to make a list of avoided and unpleasant things. To begin with, choose the easiest task and complete it, gradually moving on to the most difficult and uninteresting ones. Or set a large-scale goal, determine the timeframe for achieving it and begin to approach it daily through certain efforts. So you will feel inspired, confident in your abilities and the joy of being able to learn and improve yourself.

It is important to learn how to deal with your fears. Do you remember that a strong-willed person is able to take risks and challenge his phobias and feelings? But the only way to overcome fear is to meet him and see what is really behind him and is it all terrible, as the imagination draws and experience suggests? That is exactly how character tempers, taking the first step towards unknowns a couple of times, you will get used to risk and become free, because you will have the opportunity to choose and do as you see fit, and not as before, to run away, running into anxiety, horror and confusion. You can see this article, it describes different ways to deal with phobias, certainly some of them will suit you personally.

Arrange for general cleaning in the office, apartment, even the car, if you have one. You should be surrounded by order, and you should always know where exactly the right thing is at the moment. And you can know this if this thing has its own specific place where you will already unconsciously put it. It seems like unusual advice, but if you think about it, have you ever met a man with an iron character who, in clutter and confusion, is trying to find something he needs, running from corner to corner and looking into all the lockers and crevices?

Counteracting factors

It will be easier for the modern reader to understand further reasoning if some technological analogies and associations are introduced. If we consider the subconscious as a huge hard drive that stores volumes of data, we can imagine that it contains every moment of a person’s biography. Based on this data, beliefs and behavioral patterns are formed. What the results will be depends on the program for which the initial information is being processed. Lack of willpower indicates prolonged programming of the subconscious through negative notifications.

“Only he who knows what he can can win. And he who does not overcome his fear daily has not learned the main lesson of life ”(Ralph Waldo Emerson, American writer).

Failures at work, collapse of relationships, lack of physical activity, unhealthy nutrition, dismissal, divorce, rejection of family values, delusions - these are the main killers of the will. Each person, having experienced stress, weakens both physically and spiritually, which manifests itself in a partial loss of the ability to control their emotions. He loses willpower with every failed experience of his life.

“In the absence of willpower, all virtues and talents are completely useless” (Alistair Crowley, English poet)

Education of willpower is the most important process necessary to move towards a goal, despite failures. This is the only way to do something worthy. It is the foundation of success and the ability to strive for greatness.

Here are four simple steps that bring willpower:

10. Bad habits

If you have any bad habit, then you have to make a choice, save it or fight it. After all, strengthening the spirit in the presence of weakness, about which you will constantly go, is impossible. And if you decide to make yourself stronger, you will have to make a lot of efforts to rise above the attraction that takes away your health, time, energy and freedom. But if you do, consider that you won the most difficult battle - the battle with yourself. I want to remind you of an article about alcohol addiction, maybe someone will find it useful.

Laziness sometimes interferes with doing what is needed, because of which uncertainty and low self-esteem appear, and subsequently the energy completely drops and a person generally loses control over his life, completely at the risk of falling into a deep depression. Declare a battle of laziness, yes, it is difficult, but it is necessary, first of all, for you, start doing it in small steps, and you will notice how the quality of life is changing. You will learn more about this from this article, arm yourself with recommendations and go to battle.

1. Distraction

Known phenomenon called "marshmallow." Researchers conducted an experiment to elucidate the reaction of children to forced abstinence from something tasty, in this case, marshmallows. It turned out that strong-willed kids used simple distractions to keep themselves from the temptation. They sang, played some kind of games until time was up. As a reward for patience, these children received a double portion of marshmallows.

Willpower weakens with every thought, albeit of a small but momentary pleasure. The main prize gets the most patient.


And for today, dear readers! I wish you patience and fortitude in order to cope with all the difficulties that will arise in your way. And also inspiration, so that you stay true to the idea of ​​perfection, because, as Coco Chanel said, “Everything is in our hands, so we cannot let them go.”

2. A sober assessment of the possible consequences

There are two approaches to success and failure. Some psychologists agree that when thinking about possible negative consequences, a person actually strengthens his willpower. Others argue that the greatest motivation is due to a positive result of actions.

Fortunately, both are right. You just need to know when to use which approach. Being in a bad mood, not having fully understood the ultimate goal, it is better to think about how wonderful the consequences are expected if successful. If things are good enough, and the probability of a successful outcome is great, you can, on the contrary, focus on the possible consequences of the crash. Thoughts in general are characterized by movement from one pole to another, and there is no need to interfere with this.

3. Overcoming fears

Some young people, having graduated from a higher educational institution, with great apprehension are looking for a first job. They sometimes even hesitate to think about him. So, the more they pull in submitting a resume, the less will they have left.

One should learn, resolutely overcoming fear, to leave a comfortable zone. This, of course, is not always easy, but if you convince yourself that there is no other way, then everything will work out.

Willpower is a resource that needs to be used when there are no other external factors that can inspire self-confidence.

4. Reminder of your own willpower to yourself

Reason requires motivation. Why do you need to do this or that unpleasant work or to commit this or that act that requires considerable effort? The moment this question arises, it's time to remember the goal and the main prize that awaits the winner. Here is a simple equation describing this process:

Willpower = Motivation + Reward - Effort

If more effort is required than the total amount of motivation and reward, then willpower will decrease. It can even reach a zero point, after which it will be logical to abandon the venture.

It is believed that simple actions like brushing your teeth or even a good night's sleep can help strengthen your willpower.

Here's what you can do: make a list of the most unpleasant and avoidable tasks, then choose the easiest ones from them and make them. This will instantly cheer you up. It is best to constantly remind yourself of your willpower through small victories over your own laziness.

Like any other skill, willpower requires constant training. The list can be constantly expanded, including all new items in it, which mean things that used to be unpleasant to do. It’s the same as replenishing the wardrobe, only acquisitions are much more useful and valuable. Education of willpower occurs gradually, and leads from microscopic achievements to the biggest victories.

Small step strategy

The most important rule when working with muscles is that systematic work is more important than the amount of weight. The same with willpower. This process must be approached consciously and systematically.

It often happens that we decide to change everything at once. We set ourselves a bunch of goals, give up all the interfering habits and “start a new life”. Will we last long? I think not. We took too much weight, so we’ll tear our willpower quickly enough. This will lead to a breakdown, and the desire to begin to develop our willpower again will come to us very soon. This is just another trap of our Impulsive Self.

There is a very ancient parable, which in one form or another is found among different peoples of the world.

The old sage told the boy about how a person works:
- Inside each of us lives two wolves - white and black. These two wolves are constantly fighting each other.
- And which of them wins? The boy asked.
“The one you feed wins,” the elder answered.

This parable is directly related to the development of our willpower.

Those two wolves mentioned in the parable are our two Selves: Impulsive and Strong-willed. And when we, deciding what to do in a given situation, make a choice in favor of one of them, we thereby train or “feed” him. The Self that we “feed” becomes stronger, and the next time it’s easier for us to make a decision in his favor. So it wins.

In the program "Willpower 2.0" we use the strategy of small steps. Remember, it's better to do a little now than a global tomorrow. If we do small now - we train Volitional Self. If we plan global for tomorrow - we train procrastination and our Impulsive Self.

Get started now after reading this article!

You can always do something small in order to strengthen your strong-willed self. This action can take from several seconds to 5 minutes. You can do a little gymnastics, push yourself off the floor 20 times, get out on your desktop, call a loved one and say how dear you are to him

Remember, every minute you make a choice, and with this choice you train either your Impulsive or your Strong-willed Self, feed either a white or black wolf, and as a result one of them becomes stronger. So I suggest you start the practice now.

We have the illusion that some kind of global action or solution is needed in order to change our life. No, our life consists of hundreds of small and inconspicuous choices that we make every day.

At the same time keep track of what your Impulsive Self says: it offers to postpone, gives arguments like “I'm tired”, “You can try, but next time”, “It's all great, but in my case it won’t work.” When you learn to recognize the voice of your Impulsive Self, it will cease to control you and influence your willpower.

Therefore, in order to strengthen your willpower, use the strategy of small steps. This will be a great workout. Каждый шаг будет даваться вам все легче, и со временем ваша сила воли значительно вырастет. Тренируйте ее осознанно!

Вставайте раньше

Казалось бы, мы и так не высыпаемся, а здесь еще предлагается вставать раньше, но это начало развития силы воли. Заведите будильник на 10 минут раньше обычного. Когда он прозвенит, вставайте. Many start the clock 10-20 minutes earlier or set two alarms to allow themselves to lie in bed. No. Now you will get up on a call. Jumping abruptly from the bed is not necessary. Open your eyes, smile, stretch - now you are ready to stand up.


Morning exercises are good for health, but it also trains the will, because it is not so easy to start physical exercises in the morning. Doctors have long proved that gymnastics helps to wake up in the morning, starts the metabolism and increases the level of daily activity. You go to work peppy, it is easier for you to make decisions, but there is no time for laziness.

Prevent yourself from sitting aimlessly

How much time do you spend watching TV? They do not provide useful information, but only load the brain and time. It’s easier for us to sit down to watch a movie than to do self-education or housework. Allocate a specific time to watch TV, preferably as little as possible. As soon as this time ends, turn off the screen, even if the film is stopped in an interesting place. Interrupting rest is an excellent exercise in willpower.

Do sports

Sport, especially one that is still new to you, is a great way to overcome yourself and train your willpower. For starters, choose what you can handle. Classes should be systematic, allocate specific time and days for this. Have you decided to go cycling? Take the bike not when you want, but when such walks are on your schedule. If you feel a rush of laziness, the brain thinks about whether to postpone the lesson, immediately get up and go to train. Interestingly, after some time, the body gets used to the activity and itself requires a load.

Plan and distribute

The confusion in business leads to the fact that what we had to do, but did not have time, pops up. Spend some time planning the next day and week. Highlight important tasks of medium importance and minor. First of all, carry out important and medium importance, even if they are unpleasant. Structuring and planning will put things in order, you will start to be in time much faster, and at the same time willpower training will take place.

Get rid of bad habits

Each person has bad habits that interfere with his life, distract time and spoil his health. They must be disposed of. You say: it is difficult to quit smoking, because there is no willpower. You will develop it at the same time as getting rid of a bad habit. One without the other does not exist. Write a list of what you want to get rid of. Do not set many tasks at once, choose the main ones. Most likely, this is smoking, overweight, the habit of being late, but you can find completely unusual ones in yourself, most importantly, get rid of those that interfere in life.

Meditation also develops willpower. It is important to carry it out correctly. Meditation involves not just sitting or lying in one pose, but focusing on an object, thought or sound. Staying even 15 minutes can be difficult, I want to get up and finish. Make yourself do it. Discard unnecessary thoughts and focus on a specific subject, such as a blue ball. Set an alarm and do not stop until it rings. Take meditation as a rule. Enough 15-20 minutes a day.

If you want to lose weight

Losing weight often has a problem with willpower, which prevents them from losing weight or he quickly returns. But the point here is the weakly developed strength of character. The first thing to do is decide why you should lose weight. If you do not have a goal, then there will be no result.

Put a rubber band on your hand and beat yourself painfully if you can not handle yourself. Planning, sports, the exclusion of aimless spending time are necessary requirements for the development of character.

Hard in the first three weeks. After 21 days, the body gets used to the changed conditions. Gradually, it becomes easier to engage in sports, eat the right food, and complete tasks.

Do it now

You read the tips and decided: I'll start tomorrow. No, start immediately. Willpower is something that requires constant monitoring and development. Sit at the monitor, but are you waiting for business? Turn off the computer and do it. If suddenly there is a desire to relax, sit, do. Laziness feels like physical relaxation, but to increase energy the body needs not rest, but activity. Each person should have a goal for the sake of which he wants to overcome himself and the obstacles encountered on the way. Find this goal for yourself, overcome yourself daily, no matter how hard, but often painful, remember that educating willpower is a struggle with yourself.