”How To Increase Your Willpower.”

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”The willpower response is a reaction to an internal conflict. You want to do one thing, such as smoke a cigarette or supersize your lunch, but know you shouldn’t. Or you know you should do something, like file your taxes or go to the gym, but you’d rather do nothing.”

Okay, we know that we only have so much willpower and as we go about our day, stress and normal self-control deplete our resource. Let’s see what options we have for increasing the pool of willpower we have to draw from.

Increase your capacity for pressure: Learn how to manage stress

To start with, we need to manage our stress levels. Being under high levels of stress means that our body’s energy is used up in acting instinctively and making decisions based on short-term outcomes. Our prefrontal cortex loses out in the battle for our energy when high-stress is involved.

It is said that stopping to take a few deep breaths when we feel overwhelmed or tempted can be a great start in managing our stress levels and improving our willpower.

Encourage yourself to stick to your plan:-

To make it even easier, it appears that self-affirmation can even help you to have more self-control when you’re running out, according to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. A good example of this is the difference between telling yourself “I can’t” and “I don’t.” Taking back control of the situation using the phrase “I don’t” has been shown to be more effective at helping you to stick to your plan and break bad habits:

So try telling yourself that you don’t do that bad habit, rather than punishing yourself by saying “I can’t.”

Get more sleep to help your brain manage energy better:-

Getting enough sleep makes a big difference in how efficiently our prefrontal cortex works:

Luckily, It also cites studies that have shown we can make this work in our favor by ensuring we get enough sleep:

And if you’re wondering how much sleep is enough, here’s a rough guide: one of the most acclaimed sleep researchers, Daniel Kripke, found in a recent study that “people who sleep between 6.5 hours and 7.5 hours a night, live the longest, are happier and most productive”.

 Meditate (for as little as 8 weeks)

Meditation has also been linked to increasing the reserve of willpower we have available, as well as improving attention, focus, stress management, and self-awareness. this can even give fast results.

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Better exercise and nutrition: The most ignored route to higher willpower

Another great way to train the brain, that is often easily ignored or undervalued, yet can make you a lot more resilient to stress, and thus boost willpower, is regular physical exercise. Both relaxing, mindful exercise like yoga and intense physical training can provide these benefits, though points out that we’re not sure why this works yet.

As I mentioned earlier, what you feed your body affects how much energy the prefrontal cortex has to work with. This is why nutrition is so important:

Not only will exercise and good nutrition improve your willpower, but they’ll make you feel better as well. Exercise, in particular, is known for making us happy by releasing endorphins.

Postpone things for later to gain focus on what’s important now:-

Postponing something you really shouldn’t have can be effective if you’re trying to break a bad habit. In Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, Roy F. Baumeister explains that people who tell themselves “not now, but later,” are generally less tormented by the temptation of something they are trying to avoid (his example is eating chocolate cake).

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”I Love Those Who Can Smile In Trouble”

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” I love the those who can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”

What does it mean to you to “fail better?” Better than someone else? Fail/fare a little better each time you try? Maybe it means to fail spectacularly! Go big or go home! Or how about failing but getting better along the way—getting better through failure—and learning something from the experience? I believe that is the key: to allow failure to be a springboard from which we succeed and grow.

How we handle failure is more important than how we handle success: –We are all going to experience failure at some point in our lives, and our attitude about that failure is what determines whether we bounce back or fall hard.

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1. Decide you want to bounce back:- The power of intention is amazing, and the simple, conscious decision or desire to bounce back will make it far easier for you to do so. When you decide you want to do something and spend a little time visualizing, parts of your subconscious, intuition and conscious mind all start working together towards that goal—it’s the power of positive thinking at work. Even if you have no idea how you will do it, why not start by telling yourself that you’d like to bounce back from this failure? How you speak to yourself is so important.

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2. When you fail at something, it isn’t about you:-Well, in a way it is, but it isn’t about your core personality, humanity or your soul. It’s much harder to bounce back when you take failure to heart too much and make it about your value as a person. Your importance to those who love you does not change when you fail; your potential to make a difference in the lives of those around you does not change. If anything, your potential increases with every failure experience you have, since the most painful events in life often give us the most valuable experiences and dramatic growth. Experiencing failure makes us more compassionate, and that also increases our capacity to make a difference in the world.

How can you make sure you don’t take failure too personally? Remind yourself—literally, tell yourself—that deep down, you are still you. The failure was just a thing that happened, like a hundred other things that have happened to you. Maybe you did some things that didn’t work out, but if you compare notes with every ridiculously successful person out there, you’d find they all have similar stories to tell. Since you survived, you can still thrive!

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3. Still breathing? Keep at it:- Often when we are rushed or stressed or have been through a trauma, we breathe shallowly and unevenly, which hampers our thinking and increases our anxiety. Stop from time to time and check your body to see how deeply you are breathing, and take a deep breath to reduce your stress levels and reset your brain waves. Some practices like yoga focus on breathing, but even without the exercise element, simply taking deeper, conscious breaths will improve your clarity and help you to learn important lessons from the failure.

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4. Reframe and start from where you are:- In the autumn of 1972, an unusually early frost hit the vineyards of Peachland, British Columbia, Canada. It was devastating: grapes still clinging to their vines froze into little globes of ice. The year’s grape harvest would have been a complete failure, except that the vineyard’s owner, Walter Hainle, decided to make wine anyway. He knew of a tradition in Germany of making sweet dessert wines from frozen grapes, and although he originally planned on keeping the wine for personal use, he decided to sell it six years later. The wine was one-of-a-kind, which means it commanded a premium price. Thus, a lucrative, ridiculously successful new wine market was born— ice wine. It worked with the Canadian climate rather than against it, and it would have never been discovered if it hadn’t been for what seemed like a failure at the time.

The ability to reframe a life event is directly related to our ability to bounce back. Practice on small, easy things, and decide that you want:

  • play the role of victim in this failure
  • let self-degrading thoughts take hold
  • let anger control you

Instead, try to see the situation from another perspective—the essence of reframing—and see what you might be able to learn from it all.

So, when you fail, begin from exactly where you are, look for opportunities, take a deep breath and get back in the game, knowing that you are learning valuable lessons along the way, having great new experiences and living life to the fullest! Vive la failure!