Osman Mia
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Latest Charisma Spirituality

How to Strengthen Your Willpower

These three things you can do will put you on track to betterment and success

30 April 2020
asy tasks require little willpower but it's usually the difficult ones which require major effort that bring in the big benefits. If you are an entrepreneur like me, you need to be steadfast and alert, to plan, and to get things done. Sometimes you have to choose the difficult way instead of the easy way. All that requires willpower.

We all have an ego and that ego is impatient, arrogant and is always looking for an easy way to get what it wants, which is not necessarily what we really want. To be successful, we must overcome this ego and it is through exercising our willpower.

Your willpower determines your demeanour, your steadfastness and how well you respond to situations of stress.

These are three of the ways to strengthen your willpower from the book Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength, by Roy F Baumeister and John Tierney, as follows.

1. Practice it

By practising willpower, I mean that you have to consciously do what's best instead of what's easy or motivated by greed, envy or anger.

Fasting is a great way to strengthen willpower. It's true that the lack of glucose can make your willpower weak at first, but that is why fasting is effective. Overcoming the difficulties of fasting is excellent training. Plus fasting brings you the benefit of body fat loss and autophagy.

You can consciously make yourself be a better person. This counts as a practice of willpower. Be humble, empathetic and curious with others. Be present. All the time.

Being present greatly enhances your charisma.

Refrain from doing what is bad and wasteful. Refrain from watching porn, reading or watching social media without end and lazing around.

2. Establish Routines

A routine is an action that has a trigger. The trigger could be a time or event. For example, when it's 10 pm, you go to bed. Another example, when your boss calls you, you immediately answer.

Establishing and sticking to routines is a great way to strengthen willpower. Just don't overwhelm yourself. Establish one or two easy routines first and slowly add to them when you feel you are ready to take on more.

One of the first routines you should establish is going to bed early every night. Sleeping early gives you better sleep because it's the period from around 11 pm to 3 am that you sleep most soundly, making you wake up fully refreshed in the morning. So you shouldn't miss being asleep during this period.

Having fixed times to sleep makes it easier to set up routines before sleeping and after waking up. For example, you might want a set a routine of spending 10 minutes to write in your journal before going to bed. In the morning, you could have a routine of walking outdoors prior to breakfast.

Other top routines you should establish are ones related to personal hygiene and care. Brush your teeth after waking up and before going to bed. Trim your nails every week.

Fasting could be a routine. If you don't want to fast every day, you could do it twice a week. For people who eat moderately, that's enough to keep the sugar in their glycogen from exceeding the glycogen storage capacity, so they don't gain body fat.

3. Pray

Amazingly, praying for willpower can give you willpower. In the book Willpower are the stories of Eric Clapton and Mary Karr.

Eric Clapton, who had gone in and out of rehab, still felt powerless to resist the bottle and the drugs and had even contemplated suicide. One night, he sank to his knees and sincerely begged for help. He said later, he didn't know who he was talking to. But he completely surrendered. Since that moment, he had never seriously considered taking another drink.

Mary Karr, author of The Liar's Club, too struggled with alcoholism. After an incident of drunk driving where her car spun out of control on a highway, she began to kneel and prayed every night and when the craving came back, which was a feat for someone who doesn't believe in God. And praying, she could go for long periods without wanting a drink.

Muslims pray five times a day. It is a great practice for building willpower because it is a routine and it is an opportunity to ask for more strength. But you can go further, by increasing the amount of worship (practising willpower) and doing them on time (establishing routines).



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