Willpower-The Power of Drive And Of Control

What is willpower?

“Those who are firm in their will mold the world to themselves”

--- Goethe

In this article, you are going to learn what willpower is and how it works.

What is willpower?

Willpower can be defined as the power that drives and control our actions, behaviors, the values that we adopt and our attitudes. It is the power that drives us to take actions, adopt behaviors, attitudes and values that are beneficial for us and the power to restrain ourselves form those that are harmful for us.

It as the driving force behind our actions, behaviors and values that we adopt with regards to achieving a goal or for restraining ourselves from doing certain actions or adopting certain behaviors or values with regards to that same goal.

Another term for willpower is determination.

How does willpower work?

Unlike what most people believe, willpower is not an unnatural effort to carry out an action or adopt a behavior or value or to restrain ourselves from doing an action, behaving in a certain manner or adopting certain values.

Willpower is a power that is inherent to a goal.  It does not require us to make any conscious effort to have willpower to carry out a task, take an action, behave in a certain manner, adopt certain values or restrain ourselves from taking an action, behaving in a certain manner or adopting certain values. 

We have willpower when we understand the benefits we derive from carrying out an action or adopting a behavior or restraining ourselves from adopting that behavior. In other words, when we understand the relationship between the action, behavior or value and its outcomes that we have the drive to act, behave and adopt the values that are beneficial for us.

For example, when we are still kids, we do not want to do certain things or behave in a certain manner. Our parents or teachers tell us that we have to be honest, work hard and be well-behaved for us to succeed in life, but we do not understand them. (especially when it comes to working hard-:))

When we grow up, we understand the benefit of being honest, work hard and to be well behaved (and well-groomed) and we therefore adopt the values and virtues of honesty, hard work and proper behavior.

In psychology, this process is called internalization. This term was coined by two eminent psychologists, who propose the theory of self-determination.

You can read about the different Motivation Theories by clicking on this link.

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