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  • Writer's pictureDillan Taylor

Willpower is B.S.

Exercise willpower…Be disciplined…

These statements are often misunderstood.

A few months ago, I began giving life coaching sessions. One of the most common errors I see people make is when it comes time to create action steps. I used to do this same thing…

When I ask, “Now, what are some specific steps of action you can take to get closer to what you want?” I often get answers like these:

“I have to be better about x.”

“I need to focus more on y.”

“I gotta be more disciplined about z.”

It’s so understandable to think like this, but what the hell to any of these mean?

How will you be better? How will you focus more? How will you be more disciplined?

People think they have to be better doing exactly what they’re doing, when really all they need is a better system. It’s like Daniel Tosh’s bit, “How does Superman fly faster? I understand he can fly…But how does he fly faster?” You can’t magically summon more willpower than you had a minute ago. Humans–for the most part–are naturally lazy and undisciplined.

That is why we build habits and systems. I’m not disciplined because I exercise regularly; I was just disciplined enough to build the habits of going to the gym and doing jiujitsu. I’m not disciplined because I eat well most of the time; I just avoid buying junk, and since it’s not in my house, I don’t have the option to consume it. I don’t have an enormous amount of willpower because I write a blog every day; I started a daily blog so I have to write something each morning.

Don’t wish for more willpower or discipline; take them out of the equation.

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