Blueprint >> Willpower

Disclaimer: This document is in raw form as I process and distill 4 years-worth of my personal development notes. Expect some typos and cryptic language for now. I will be updating frequently and polishing up.

Prescription: Understand willpower. Build your willpower. Use your willpower effectively..
Related Concepts: Habit-Building, Subconscious Mind, Waking Daze

What is Willpower?


Why is it Important?

Your ability to focus, stay conscious, and do the things you need to do depends on your willpower. Willpower allows you to design the kind of successful and happy life you want. Building up and maintaining your willpower is critical to your success. Willpower is necessary to keep yourself in integrity.

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Coach Leo Gura
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Willpower: Key Points

You could do some much more with your life, and do it so much better, if you just had more willpower. How easy would it be to stay on a diet, not argue with your spouse, work hard at your job, start a new business, or meditate perfectly if you just had more willpower? None of these things would be problems at all!

You only have so much willpower throughout the day. You start with a fresh batch of willpower every morning and it's used up as the day rolls on. In the evening your willpower is drained. Your willpower is your ability to make conscious changes and carry out important tasks. Willpower is the most precious and valuable resource that you have, more important than time and money. But most people waste their daily willpower on stupid things like watching TV, having arguments, worrying about finances, criticizing others, etc. You need to start using your willpower smartly. You use your willpower to create things that are important to you, and mechanisms that will free up your willpower in the future. For example, it takes a lot of willpower to start going to the gym, but if you use your willpower one day to have a conversation with a buddy who agrees to be your gym partner, you will save yourself much willpower in the weeks and months to come. You can then use that saved willpower to create more willpower-saving mechanisms. 1

It's possible to willpower your way through a tough day, a stringent diet, or a excruciating marathon run, but you cannot be successful long-term on willpower alone. No diet can work on willpower alone. No exercise program can work on willpower alone. You might hold out for a few weeks, but eventually your willpower will run out and you'll stumble — often backsliding and erasing all your gains. So the solution is to use willpower more strategically. You can brute-force your way on occasion, but what you really ought to focus on is using your willpower efficiently and setting up external conditions that make the use of your willpower less necessary.

Willpower can be built up like a muscle, through daily practice. Some people have a lot of willpower because they exercise it every day and have been doing it for years. Other people have let themselves go so much that they don't have the willpower to get up out of bed, let alone do something challenging like starting a business or sitting down to meditate.

The seat of willpower in your brain is the left prefrontal cortex. Activities that build willpower include:

  • Meditation
  • Consistently showing up, especially when you don't feel like it.
  • Hard work
  • Gym, sports, and exercise
  • Stay on track with your diet
  • Mind Power
  • Journaling
  • Taking on new challenges
  • Refusing to give into fear when it arises
  • Quieting your gremlin
  • Visualization
  • Reading

Create external enforcement. Design situations so that you are compelled to act without having to use willpower. Obeying outside authority is easier. Set up external circumstances so outcome is guaranteed, so you don't have to trust your own willpower all the time. 1


  1. Mind Control, Eben Pagan
  2. Advanced Learning and Teaching Technologies, Eben Pagan
Coach Leo Gura
Hire me as your coach. Super-charge your life. Email me now!
  • Redesign your life to align with your purpose
  • Mindsets and tools for exceptional success