How To Increase Your Willpower

Creative Commons License photo credit: shoothead

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

This quote embodies everything I know about willpower. It displays what we as people are capable of when we are pushed to the nth degree.

While this quote is indeed powerful, most of us still don’t understand how to increase our willpower. Whenever we perceive even a little step in the wrong direction, it becomes the end of world. Such thinking cannot yield good results. Remember that you have to always…

Try, try again

I can not stress this enough. No matter how long it takes and how beaten you may feel, you must try and try again. You’ll never know how much you can handle if you don’t put your limits to the test. How many times does it take for a baby to stand up before he or she finally does? How long do great athletes, actors, writers, composers, first-time mothers and fathers practice before they finally get it right? How much heartache do you have to feel until you finally feel true love? You will never know if you do not try. The very act of trying itself increases your willpower because it instills in your mind that you can do it; that you can succeed.

Eliminate negative influences

Who has not felt the sting or hurt when someone you thought supported you, in fact, actually didn’t? You are not the first one to be criticized. People de-constructively criticize what they do not understand. If you come from a long line of farmers and you have big dreams to be a “hot-shot lawyer”, expect some backlash. If your friends are all planning to work in the same field, but you choose another, I bet you dollars to donuts that at least a few of them will look down on you. Cut them loose if you have to. There is no way a negative influence has ever made a person successful (except in defiance of that said influence). Listen only to constructive criticism that helps you learn and grow as a person.

Seek out those who you resonate with

You may think you have achieved great willpower, but nothing can push it ever higher than surrounding yourself with those who are similar to you. In times of sheer doubt, they can fish you out of your pit of despair. When you achieve the little goals, they will revel with you in your glory. When they are down for the count, it will be your job to push them back up. What you can accomplish alone will be amplified when you put great minds together. To have someone always there to drive you forward makes you feel as if you’ve promised them to endure what lies ahead.

Realize defeat, but never accept it

Those who know defeat are the ones that have the most willpower. After their long line of defeats they will always say, “But the day I was about to quit, I decided to try one more time…”. There will always be days when defeat rears it’s head, but that doesn’t mean you should accept it. Even when it seems as if you are making no headway, stop and think about how far you’ve come. The effort you put in beforehand has made you who you are now. Learn from your defeats, but act immediately afterwards to redeem yourself.

It has been said that confidence cannot be faked; that you must fake it until you make it. This is not the case with willpower. You cannot fake effort or will. All the hardships, all of the constant forward trudging: it’s all real. As long as you keep acting positively, you can be sure to achieve anything you put your mind to.

Give up. Quit. Can’t. These words should not exist in your vocabulary.

Are there any other ways you can think of to increase your willpower? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

John Anyasor is a Guest Blogger for PickTheBrain. He writes for the HiLife2B: Blog on Personal Improvement for a Good Life. He gives advice on personal development, life lessons, college life tips, and more.

Don’t forget to follow PickTheBrain on Twitter.

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  • A huge fan

    Im so happy that i stumbled upon your website! keep up the good work! Whenever i feel like giving up, i always look at your writings for motivation. THANK YOU!

  • http://hilife2b.com/blog John

    Thank YOU! I love writing for people just like you who need that extra boost in order to succeed. I’m really glad you enjoyed my post. I’d also like to thank Erin for allowing me to guest post. Thanks guys!

  • http://thrillionairebook.blogspot.com/ Nik Halik

    One of my favorite quotes of Roosevelt. Great post.

  • http://hilife2b.com/blog John

    @Nik I’m glad you like the post. And yes, Roosevelt has tons of quotes that contain the wisdom of willpower and success that inspired millions of people.

  • http://improveminduniversity.blogspot.com jonathan figaro

    Eliminating negative influences is essential to developing a positive mind. It creates to mental energy, you’ll need to achieve any goal. Either your friends are providing you with encouragement or discouragement. Which one are surrounding yourself with?

  • http://hilife2b.com/blog John

    @Jonathan Hey Jon. As usual you have great thoughts regarding my posts. Surround yourself with positive people and you’ll get positive results.

  • http:///www.positivewayoflife.com Josten

    I was nervous at first telling my parents that i wanted to be in business for myself and it seemed as if they were pretty skeptical about it. But i was glad i told them. I’m going to break the barrier or being an employee in my family

  • http://hilife2b.com/blog John

    @Josten Good for you man. Having the courage to grab your dreams is always a difficult first step. As long as you have a direction for the future, I’m all for it.

  • Kirsty

    Great post John! One of my main philosophies is that when we have significant interaction with someone we should learn something….

    This fits with your post when you say about cutting those loose who may not be supportive or encouraging – you learn that you don’t want/need that and may identify it a bit sooner in others that you meet.

    It also sits snuggly with “seek out those who you resonate with” because you can learn a hell of a lot from them – including the right attitude to have!

    Thanks for the great insight. K

  • http://www.2knowmyself.com farouk

    yes i do agree, learning is one way to increase will power simply because will power can be learned

  • http://hilife2b.com/blog John

    @Kirsty Hey Kirsty! That’s the attitude you should have. Let nothing stand in your way on the journey to success.

    @farouk Thanks for sharing your input. Will must be learned and cultivated into a force that is unstoppable.

    I truly thank you guys for all of your supportive comments :)

  • blingun

    “The very act of trying itself increases your willpower because it instills in your mind that you can do it; that you can succeed.”

    Not sure about this bit (I’m being rather pedantic but clarity is often helpful). If you keep trying and failing, logically you have only proven that effort can lead to failure. So here’s my attempt at a more precise version:

    The act of trying gives you reason to believe you will keep trying in future, which is encouraging because effort is a factor in success.

  • http://hilife2b.com/blog John

    @blingun Yes, you’re right. Yours is a much clearer representation. Thanks for fixing that section. Thanks for your input. I appreciate it :)

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  • Admasu

    Thank you all, it was inspiring to read what you wrote

  • Vishnu

    This is such a great post. I’m definitely not going to have give or quit in my vocabulary. Thanks for such a great post. :)

  • Vishnu

    This is such a great post. I’m definitely not going to have give up or quit in my vocabulary. Thanks for such a great post. :)

  • SB

    Wiliam Walker Atkinson wrote a great book about will power. In it he also mentions daily affirmation. like “I AM exercising my will power”

    He also mention that it is important to combat fear. fear does not let you use your will power. “I AM courageous” etc..

    thanks for sharing

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  • Sarfaraz

    Thanks for giving me a new way of living life. I think after read you my whole life changed and now I am looking forward to my future opportunities.

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  • http://www.astanduplife.com Colin Ryan

    Wow, what a great post! As a stand-up comic, the need for discipline affects me all the time. I’ve found a lot of success in this area by coming at it from a unique angle. Check it out: “KICKSTART YOUR WILLPOWER”

  • Jonathan

    My god, who wrote this? This is deep, yet straight to the point. You effortlessly said everything everyone should know. “Stop and think how far you’ve come.” We tend to forget and ignore that when “no” is in our head. Thanks so much for writing this!

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  • http://wheretofindrichmen.com/ Rich

    I think, realizing where you are in life, realizing what have you accomplished can really increase your willpower. If your life is not what you wanted it to be, you must understand that if you continue doing things you have done until now, you will end up right where you are. There is a saying ” Truth hurts”. To change your current situation, you must change your actions.

  • http://www.todaystuff.com pankaj gupta

    really interesting blog….

  • Sudipto Gupto

    Good, realistic. I like so much

  • Dave

    Excellent post. Increased will power is at the heart of true self help and personal development.


  • Davendersharma

    thats really ture, one should always realize the power of these words and should read this daily

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  • Ravvi Bhojwani

    great,thanks !!

  • Fantom

    Great article,thank you for writing it

  • Edward Thomas

    thats really ture, one should constantly understand the power among these words and must browse this daily

  • http://twitter.com/2easymed 2easymed

    Great Article I like it 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jatt.vella Hitesh Dhingra

    great post …….

  • Tongkat Ali

    Excellent article. Increased definitely will power is at the heart of real own assist as well as private development.http://www.tongkatpower.com/173473/Buy-Now

  • 1234vlad

    Id recommend taking methamphetamine, that will make you get things done.ha ha, nah but all jokes aside, what I usually do is punch myself in the face and pretend i am a Us drill surgent that’s trying to institutionalize me, that always motivates my lazy ass ego to get shit done..

  • Assim_priya

    matched perfectly to my thought

  • Ayushj

    Try meditation.

  • Gayathri

    it is so good.i discuss this to my frients

  • Itsthepath

    What a revelation! Fix the core problem by fixing your brain. Does Luminosity Training help and can I find brain exercises free?

    • Xxx

      what green lantern!

  • Sasa

    Great post, thank you

  • Corporate Team outing

    This post is so true, exercise energises us and AT TIMES helps us to increase will power.But Daily exerciseitself requires will power and how to get that is a question now? 

    Thanks for sharing this. 

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