Habits or willpower? This is a topic worthy of delving into if you want to create massive success in your life. Habits are actions that you take automatically as a result of consistently doing them over a relatively long period of time. Willpower is usually an instantaneous urge to carry out an objective that pushes you to muster all your energy to carry it out.
Scientific research explains how habits are formed in the human body and the findings make good sense. As you are pursuing your career goals or studying towards getting a job or promotion you already have certain strategies that you use to accomplish them.
I know people at times when they have an exam coming up they tend to leave studying to the last minute. For some people that approach does actually work in the short term but in the longer term it doesn’t.
Let’s consider 3 reasons why habits are stronger than willpower:
1. Habits create your life
The life you live today is a result of the choices you made yesterday, whether good or bad. Thoughts lead to words, words lead to actions, and actions create results. So if for example when you’re at work or running your business you spend time on income producing activities consistently you will get into the habit of making money as a result.
The opposite is also true. Waste time on non-income producing activities and soon enough you will find yourself either losing your job or getting out of business. A tip to take home – decide what you want to accomplish in life, figure out what will get you there and develop the right habits to follow through on that commitment.
2. Willpower is short term
A very good example of this is when people set New Year’s resolutions at the start of each year. On the spur of the moment you feel like you can take on the world, don’t you? You start off the year declaring that you will do mighty things. A few weeks later that enthusiasm wears off.
One of the traits of successful people is that they don’t do things only when they feel like doing so. It takes more than willpower to last the distance when pursuing your goals and dreams. Willpower can get you started on the right path but will not ultimately keep you on the right path.
3. Good habits lead to excellence
A book I am reminded of is, “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson. One of the most powerful lessons that I picked up is that, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” When you do the right actions consistently you may not see a change instantly but definitely over an extended period of time.
This is why people like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi can make playing soccer look so easy – they have mastered their craft. They spend long hours becoming better and better at what they do and that is what makes the best players in world football.
Get into the habit of doing the right actions consistently because it will pay off in the long run. Do not be tempted to quit when you don’t see immediate results. Anything of greatness takes time so stay in the game until you see the results you want.
Leave your comments below and let us know what you have learned.