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Can Developing Your Willpower Help You Be Successful In Life?

Dec 13, 2007
Yes, indeed, if you develop your willpower, you can definitely be more successful in life. In fact, the two are directly related. No one can underestimate the power of willpower in helping you achieve your goals.

Even though we hear often about the importance of good education, in fact, it's not the lack of it that causes most failure. There are many people with little to no formal education who have in fact become millionaires, while many people with Ivy League degrees muddle along in dead-end jobs, or worse. In fact, it's willpower, not a degree per se, that can determine your chances for success.

Of course, basic education is important; simply because it helps you get along in society. However, just as important and perhaps more important is the fact that you see yourself succeeding and will pick yourself up and try again to matter how many times you fail in the first place. It's a proven fact that both Henry Ford and Harry Truman had failed in everything they had done before they established their particular places in history: Ford with his invention of the assembly line and subsequent mass-produced and cheaply built car, and Harry Truman first as a senator and with a brief stint as Vice President, finally becoming President of the United States.

Just as with any type of skill, willpower and determination take time and practice to develop. Just as you train the physical body for a marathon, so, too, you see yourself succeeding in your mind. As you continue these visualizations, reality meets imagination halfway. Providing you've laid the groundwork before as well, success is almost inevitable.

In essence, self-mastery of your mind must become a habit. Practice daily and gradually build up confidence and resistance to failure, even as you keep your eyes open and maintain common sense so as not to be foolhardy. With self-mastery comes accomplishment, and ultimately, success.

In fact, you don't need to be a genius to succeed. Most people are not born Albert Einstein or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Most people have ordinary IQs, but what they have that the next person doesn't is determination and the willingness to practice until perfect. Keep trying, even if drudgery sets in short-term. It's the practice that makes the difference.

In fact, Henry Ward Beecher was a master of accomplishment, and when asked what his secret was, he said, "I don't do more, but less than others. They do all their work three times. Once in anticipation, once in actuality, and once in rumination. I do mine in actuality alone, so I end up doing things just once."

Basically, Beecher could concentrate perfectly on what he was doing at any given moment without distraction. Most of us, try though we might, are at least distracted somewhat with random thoughts, worry about another project other than the one we're working on, or other mind distractions we would better do without in a given moment. If you put those aside until such time as you can take care of them with similar singular focus, it's much more efficient and your success is much more guaranteed. Therefore, one of the biggest secrets to being successful is the ability to focus all of your attention on one thing at a time.

A note about worry: Even though worry seems like it's inevitable, in fact, it's mostly a habit. Most things you worry about will never happen, which makes this a wasted practice; and if, in fact, a worry does in fact manifest in reality, there's usually nothing you could have done about it before hand. If you simply can't put your worries to rest, them down on a piece of paper, tuck it away, and promise yourself that you will focus on those worries with your full attention in their own time. With this done, you can free yourself of the worries that would normally plague you and focus on the task at hand. If you don't do this, worry will only drain you, for no good effect. It can suck your energy away for no good reason, reduce your chances of success and make you and those around you miserable.

By focusing on a given task at a time, you exponentially increase your chances of success and what you can achieve. As soon as you can learn this, the better, because it's a sure way to overcome one very big hurdle that can slow you down and prevent you from attaining the success you deserve.

Finally, choose your activities carefully and don't juggle too many things at once. It's much more efficient than to focus on one important task at a time than it is to focus on several relatively unimportant ones. In fact, multitasking does not make you more efficient, in most cases. It makes you less efficient. The more you focus, the more you can get done. Most importantly, persistence is what will keep you moving forward and get you to the goals you so desire. Again, focus is the key.
About the Author
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of My-Personal-Growth.com, a site that provides information and articles for self improvement and personal growth and development.
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