As soon as a speaker or a celebrity starts lecturing you about willpower, please do me a favor and stop listening. Switch to another podcast, or another YouTube channel, or leave the venue. They are wasting your time. The truth is that everyone who is lecturing you about willpower does not have more willpower than you do. We all have the “will power.” It’s all a big lie that mainstream self-help and motivational books have been feeding us all along. It is all a myth.
But if that is the case, then:
“Why have I plateaued on weight loss for the last four years?”
“Why am I unable to do the masters degree I have been saying I will do for the last ten years?”
“Why am I not starting my own business that I have been dreaming of?”
People either blame the circumstances or their lack of will power. It is neither.
Usain Bolt. The best sprinter of all times, according to many. How did he make it? Willpower? Circumstances? If this was the case, then a millionaire, who really wants to be the fastest man alive, would become the 100-meter champion. And no one else would have a chance. It is a dull and demotivating world that feeds you these stories. So you have to wait until you muster will power? until the circumstances are right?
In reality, this is how Usain Bolt became the world champion in the 100 meters:
He saw a passion that matches a talent he has.
He found people to support him.
He practiced some more.
He joined races. Some he won and some he lost.
And did this for years on end.
(Here is the link to http://www.borntoworkout.com/usain-bolt-training-routine-diet-plan-tips/ Usain Bolt’s real training schedule)
Where is the will power in this formula? It does not exist. Someone might say “he needed will power to achieve all that.” Not according to Usain who believes that anyone can run at such staggering speeds. But, you need to follow his rigorous training and diet regimen to build stability and enhance strength. He took ACTION to achieve it.
Leadership is taking ACTION even when there is no willpower. Take action that you are not ready for emotionally. Take action against the negative thinking that is going on in your mind. That is leadership. That is courage.
So next time you blame will power for not being able to achieve your goals, here is a question to ask yourself: What is the thing that I am not doing for lack of will power? What is the specific action needed at this specific moment? Putting an extra hour of work? An extra hour of studying? An extra hour of exercise? do it. Take the action even when the “will” is not there. Take the action. Do you need to be more mindful of your team? Do you need to spend more time with the family? Do you need to take better care of your health? Do you need to quit smoking? Forget about the will power. Forget about the “circumstances” needing to be right. Forget about waiting for the planets to be aligned in a way that suits your horoscope sign. Take the ACTION.
Every time leaders take ACTION, they too have this weak and puny defeated voice in the head that said: “I don’t want to do it.” Every time they overcame that voice they built more confidence in their ability to take an ACTION that is hard. I bet you money that on so many days Mr. Bolt did not have the “will power” to practice. He was probably tired, sad or demotivated. He probably said to himself, “Heck with it. I don’t feel like practicing today. I want to sleep. The heck with the world championship.” But Usain and all top athletes like him got out of bed and went to practice. Hating it. Dragging their feet. But they did it. They took ACTION.
You can DO everything that you do not have the will power to do. All you need is to take ACTION NOW. Let the emotions be, and let the negative thoughts be and let people mock you for daring. Even if you tried a hundred times and failed. Leaders are different because they take ACTION NOW, and not let their emotions or negative thoughts stop them.