By Remez Sasson
I have read articles about willpower that describe it as a sort of temporary burst or spurt of desire or motivation. I have also found articles that discredit and reject it as a myth or nonsense. I disagree with these description and definitions, because willpower as I know it, is something completely different.
Sometimes, due to anger, dissatisfaction or some other emotion one manifests some degree of willpower, and then he is temporarily capable to do things that ordinarily he does not or cannot do. True willpower is something different. You cannot rely for inner strength on temporary flashes of emotion or motivation. You need something more permanent and reliable, which you can count on in times of need.
This power has nothing to do with clenching your fists, holding your breath and straining your body. It is not a physical power, but an inner power. When well developed, it can turn into a habit, and be manifested whenever required for any length of time.
Willpower is an ability, a skill that can be developed and strengthened like any other skill. It is like learning to speak a foreign language, and then being able to speak it whenever you need it. It is like exercising your body, which then makes you healthier and stronger and able to do things that require physical strength.
Willpower can be developed through simple, special exercises, and when well developed, it manifests naturally, almost effortlessly whenever it is required.
Forget about your concepts and beliefs about willpower. It is often misunderstood and thought to be a myth or something unattainable. This is due lack of understanding of what it is, and because of the inability or failure to use it. In order to use it effectively in times of need, you need to strengthen it, in the same way that you strengthen the muscles of your body.
Often, when you have to do something that requires willpower, it will not be so easy to manifest it, especially if you are lazy or there are obstacles on your path. On the other hand, if you train and exercise it often, in small, not so difficult matters, you will have it available and ready to use when you need.
You can train your willpower through special, simple exercises, and by using it on a daily basis in the small things of daily life. Cleaning the dishes now, instead of later, eating one slice of cake, when you desire two, getting off the bus one station before or after your destination are good and simple examples of exercises you can integrate into your daily life. Every act or exercise strengthen and accumulate this power, so that you would be able to use whenever you require it.
There is no need to tell you how important is to develop willpower, and how useful it is for success in every area of life, whether it is business, studying, self improvement or spiritual growth. When developed, it becomes a habit, a second nature, and can be applied to every task, chore or goal.