Willpower: How to Best utilize It and Why It Runs Out

The main reason why many of us are having trouble to endure change is because we always try to depend on willpower. We think we can go from 0 to 60 in an instant, changing or overturning entrenched life habits through the steep force of will.

“Habits are not easy to adopt or avoid, but the strategy itself is universally applicable: Lower the activation energy for habits you want to adopt, and raise it for habits you want to avoid. The more we can lower or even eliminate the activation energy for our desired actions, the more we enhance our ability to jump-start positive change” – Shawn Achor.

There was a time I wanted to be proficient on Microsoft Office and CorelDraw Graphic Suite. I installed the two application programs on my laptop where I also have video games installed and loads of movies to watch, and I decided to be spending an hour each to be learning both application programs every day.

I plan to learn for one month straightforward and I set my timetable, I hope daily practicing will improve my skills on both programs, using them will become part of my daily routine and it will increase my creativity and productivity; also I will become happier for my proficiency on both programs.

To be honest, everything only worked for couple of days. Then I went back to my regularly scheduled programming. Distraction took over me as human nature is defective, but I utilize one great formula ‘principles over feelings’ to get myself back on track and I was able to achieve my learning goal. I gradually gave up video games and movies in the process by removing their shortcut folders and Icons from my desktop and I was only listening to music; I utilize the imperfection in my nature to perfect my skills on both programs.

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls this “activation energy”. In physics, activation energy is the initial spark needed to catalyze a reaction. The same energy, both physical and mental, is needed of people to overcome inertia and kick-start a positive habit. Otherwise, human nature takes us down the path of least resistance time and time again.

But thankfully, scientists have since discovered that in fact we have more effective control over our own emotions than previously believed. I implore you to utilize your willpower properly to avoid that habit you want to quit or to adopt that new positive and productive habit that you want in your life.

Remember, you are a god in your own right and you are the master of your own destiny, you have absolute control over the thoughts of your mind, you should focus that control on how it will positively benefit your life, so as to experience a wonderful fulfilled life.


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