_Every morning Charles, an older gentleman, walks in front my house using a Rollator, a walker with wheels; at the age of 93 he walks 2 miles a day. He is a retired professor of economics from George Washington University and has a very sharp mind.
Professor, I asked him: “what is your secret, at your age, how do you manage to have the strength to have such an endurance”
“Willpower,” he said; “My wife, my friends are the same age as me and they sit all day watching TV.
Every morning I just get up and go! Today after my walk, I am going painting..."
Wow, so simple: Willpower!
_Now, lets talk about 'willpower': First, we need to understand the meaning of it.
'Will' is the ability to make conscious choices. We all have a free will to make our own choices, good or bad. Plants do not have will and animals have some amount of will. Yet, humans have the greatest amount of will. Humans are able to think analytically and make informed choices.
‘Power’ is energy, it is the force and the strength required to sustain physical or mental activity.
So, ‘Will-Power’ means to have the will to exercise power.
Willpower is the ability to control oneself and determine one's actions; it means to have a firmness of will. Willpower, is to have self-discipline, to moderate emotions and to control actions.
Every time time you make a decision you practice some level of self-control; what to order for lunch, whether to go to the gym or have a glass of wine. All the decisions are directly related to your will power, to your mental energy.
A person with strong willpower will keep going even in the face of strong resistance; a person with little willpower will easily give in.
How do we build a strong willpower?
Willpower is like a muscle: to strengthen it, you need to train mentally and physically.
Here are a few simple ways that will help you to maintain and build your mental-power:
Lack of water damages your mental abilities, affects your mood and reduces your mind power. Our mistake is to confuse thirst for hunger. When you feel exhausted, first, reach for a glass of water before grabbing a snack.
A brain is like a sponge and dehydration parches it, shrinks it. Drink water before drying your brain, keep it saturated! Always keep in mind the term: ‘dry brain’
Nutrition is key for proper brain functioning. To keep your mind sharp and to maintain self-control, your brain cells require glucose, sugar. When glucose is low, you can’t focus and your brain looks for immediate rewards.
Create a habit of eating continuously small portions during the day; balanced meals that have a significant amount of protein and fiber. This will keep you with the energy you need and your brain won’t starve for junk food.
Sleepiness slows down your thought processes, impairs memory and makes learning difficult; it alters your mood, causing irritability and anger. When you are tired, your judgment, reaction time and awareness are significantly impaired.
Make as a priority to sleep 6 to 8 hours per day; a priority to rest!
Learn to Breathe:
When breathing correctly our bodies are supplied with the right amount of oxygen. Oxygen is energy that recharges our brain and our vital organs; a boost of energy needed to power everything we do, from moving to thinking to growing.
When breathing properly we reduce stress and our bodies release endorphins. Endorphins are feel-good, natural painkillers created by our own bodies.
_Developing strong willpower won’t happen overnight. It takes commitment to establish purposeful habits. But keep in mind, a strong willpower will prepare you to be gritty enough to follow through with your goals.
_So I ask, how many of us will have as strong willpower as my friend, the professor; the willpower to get up every morning at 93, pick up a Rollator and walk 2 miles, even after having a knee and a hip replacement?
“After all, any purpose or intention without willpower would be wordless” - Mauricio Fraga-Rosenfeld
Who I am today as a person is largely due to my failures!