The Biggest Myth About Will Power

When business owners and professionals decide that they need to make a changewill power in their business or personal life, they typically try to muster up their "will power" and start implementing a new behavior. This nearly always fails! It has been reported that approximately 95% of all New Year's resolutions are broken by the end of January. Most people assume, when they fail to keep their resolution, that they did not have enough "will power."

Does Your Will Have Power?

This typically leads to feelings of discouragement and defeat, resulting in less desire to try again down the road. The result is complacency and mediocrity in their business and life. That is unfortunate because the reason they failed was not a lack of "will power." The fact is, your "will" actually has no power! The will is simply the human capacity to choose. “Should I wear a white shirt or a blue one?” we ask ourselves. Ultimately we choose the white one, and our will is the hinge on which the decision is made. But the "will" does not actually do anything. The will is actually a responder! There are three primary influencers on the will. They are the mind, the body, and the social context.

3 Influencers of Your Will

First, what we think in our mind creates emotions, which lead to decisions or actions. This is typically where the most important work has to be done to achieve lasting change. Second, the body is a complex inner working of impulses that influence the will. Most of our bodily system runs without our help, but when the body has a need (i.e. food, water) it expresses itself to the mind through physical feelings (hunger, thirst) and alerts the mind to send a message to the will: Get food now! Finally, the will is also influenced by our social context. We are highly influenced by the people around us. This is known as "peer pressure."

Your Will is a Responder

The will is neither strong nor weak. It is a responder to the mind, body, and social context. Please know that you are 100% responsible for your choices and actions. You MUST take personal responsibility for your behaviors. But if you want to truly change your behaviors, you must first change your mindset and monitor and improve the physical and social influencers. As you work on your goals and your business plan, process these ideas with a trusted friend or coach. This is the path to lasting change and improvement.

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3 Responses to “The Biggest Myth About Will Power”

  1. Dan Murphy says:

    Glenn, fantastic post. Very well written and insightful. Great reminder of what we “think about and thank about comes about”. Our mindset, decisions, and actions determine our outcomes and circumstances…not will power. Love reading your valuable posts. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

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