Willpower is Not Something You Get
Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. – Gandhi
Will, and its more common usage, willpower, is much talked about – and much mis-understood.
People think will-power is something they need to get from outside themselves, and once they have it, they need to strengthen it and maintain it.
Our true nature is unlimited strength and power.
We don’t need anything from outside ourselves, we need only access the power within.
It is through socialization and “schooling” that we take on limitations and false ideas about what’s possible and what we “can” do.
Like the adult elephant tethered by the tiny rope (because as a baby he/she couldn’t overcome it), we think we “can’t do this” or “can’t do that” because we lack the “will-power.”
Lack-of-willpower is just a belief about what’s “possible” or what’s “okay” or – and this is a big and hidden belief – what’s going to be “acceptable” to those around us (and thus keep us in the good graces of our “tribe*”)
We have stories, both about what we think ouf ourselves and what we think others think of us, that keep us in safe, predictable routines.
Routines that keep us “safe” and connected and loved.
Routines that can be replaced with empowering andf useful routines. But only if we approach change with care and intelligence. It’s almost as if we can “spook” our routines if we move towards them too quickly or try to change them too radically.
You see, we have lots of will-power – it’s just that it’s working to kepe us “safe,” which keeps us small.
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* And keeping faith with those close to us, even if it’s mis-guided and keeps us playing small, is an aspect of our survival instinct and something not easily overcome (without careful and conscious effort).