Unlock the WILLPOWER in you!

This week’s summary is based on the book: Willpower by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney



HOW TO GROW YOUR WILLPOWER

What is the crucial driver for growth? What can we do to develop this drive? Is there a way to delegate even a bit of it to an external source? There is nothing we learn in life without putting at least a bit of WILLPOWER into it. We have good news for you: there are ways to develop it. In this blog, you will learn how to find that drive and ignite your willpower so you can grow in any aspect you will choose, whether it be your personal life or work.

Where it All Began

In 2014, I had the pleasure to work with a professional football player, Bart Vriends Sparta Rotterdam. More than being an athlete, he was disciplined, friendly, and intelligent. But what struck me the most? It was his willpower. He traveled every week to my office for our training sessions, he was always on time and prepared. Above all, he paid the tuition fee himself despite having the people to do it for him. Coaching clients with the willpower are my personal favorites to work with.

A couple of weeks into the training, he told me, “I learned a lot, but I’m having a difficult time doing what we agreed on. I find it hard to apply my goals for a day to day behavior into a daily habit” “The required positive behavioral change was hard to achieve”, he added.

Professional athletes are known to be well-disciplined, both physically and mentally. If HE couldn’t achieve the change he sought, then how much more an ordinary person? Apparently, even his willpower wasn’t enough.

Finding a Donut Hole in the System

I’ve always assumed that if coaching sessions were good, clients would have deeper insights. And if they do, they would have the inspiration and motivation to leverage this new light and transform by self-applying what they learned. I thought that after coaching sessions, external help wouldn’t help anymore and they can do it by themselves.

How naïve of me to think that way. I could have known better, just by looking at myself and the way how I develop new habits.

Have we ever learned something in life without having to practice deliberately? It’s just like riding a bike, no one ever learned how to ride it without falling a few times. Training wheels may just be temporary, but it will help you find the perfect balance to ride a bike. Learning is a process and growth depends entirely on how much effort you put into it.

A driving force in learning practically anything is your willpower. But the question is, “What do we need to feed this drive?” I carried this dilemma for a while. While brainstorming for an answer, I realized, good coaching alone can’t help you. You’d be putting all that cash and effort down the drain if you don’t help yourself shape a positive behavior that will result in the lasting changes you desire.

Searching for the Solution

While brainstorming for an answer, I found the solution through Marshall Goldsmith, who became an important teacher of mine. He is world-renowned as the number one leadership thinker, a seasoned executive coach, and a successful author. At more than 70 years old, his wisdom is still sought by people of all walks.

In one of my workshops sometime around 2018, I invited Marshall to be a speaker for my clients. During his time on the pedestal, he shared how he found the drive to do what he does now. He said he used to have someone call him every night to consult what he should intend to do the next day. Without this little bit of help, he lacked the discipline and willpower to grow and keep the important things in his professional and private life.

Here’s a short clip of his talk during that workshop.

https://vimeo.com/385064668

He said, “I couldn’t do it alone, I needed help, and that is OK!”

From that momentous event, we started setting mutual goals. We contacted our clients daily, collected their answers, and reported their progress at the end of each week. If you’re also a coach like me, you can use this tool too. If you’re interested to learn more, you can send me a message anytime!

The Key Takeaway

Over the past years, my clients have demonstrated a significant improvement in the quality of their life.

After following up our clients for 5 years using our approach, these are 6 key takeaways (among others) we learned so far:

  1. You willpower is like a muscle. Either you use it, or lose it!
  2. Your willpower can be exhausted. Don’t strain it and give it rests.
  3. Your willpower grows with progress and success. Start with baby steps, the small things eventually become the big ones.
  4. Don’t be ashamed to ask little help from your family or friends. Remember that you’re not alone and we all need help.
  5. You can get it done if you put yourself into it. Set measurable goals and improve it from time to time.
  6. Monitor your progress. Get a free self-monitoring tool at www.topmind.com/tracker.

We made a Top-Mind-Map for you about the book, “Willpower” by Roy F. Baumeister. Simply click the link to get started. If you are looking for more insights about willpower, this book is definitely for you!

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The concept of willpower has undergone significant transformations throughout history. From an austere personal commitment in Victorian times to a quasi-scientific approach, people have conceived the mental fortitude to pursue their goals and its source in numerous ways. Modern scientific experiments have finally given us a more complete understanding of what willpower is, how it works, and where it comes from. Willpower isn’t the mere ability to control your actions. In fact, it’s the key to keep yourself functioning at its maximum capacity. This Visual Mind Map will show you ways how you can increase your will power.


Register now for a FREE one on one “Work Less (Achieve More)” Webinar with me. Discover strategies and tools to leverage your skills to be fitter for your Leadership role. Spend your time and energy wisely and boost your return of investment.

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