Willpower is the ability to exert one's will over one's actions.
Willpower manifests as inner firmness, decisiveness, determination, resolution and persistence.
Willpower is the initial force needed for you to take action.
Picture the scene: It’s pissing down with rain outside, it’s
cold, you’re lying all cosy and comfortable watching TV in front of the
fire and the dog is crying to go for her daily walk. If you’ve
got a lot of willpower you would get up and take her for a walk, if you’re
lacking in willpower you’ll carry on watching TV and justify to yourself
the reasons for not taking her a walk.
Will power and self-discipline go hand in hand. You need the willpower
to start whatever it is you want to do and you need the self discipline to
carry on where the willpower left off and this will go round in circles. For
a specific task you might only need to engage your willpower once and self
discipline will carry you through to your goal. On the other hand you
might have to engage your will power a hundred times before your goal has been
reached. For example every morning I have a cold shower it takes willpower
to turn that dial all the way down to 0 for a freezing cold temperature. I
used to do it gradually but now I just yank it right down to 0 when I have
finished washing. My willpower is acquiescing a bit now and it is getting
easier to do it but it still takes willpower and then the self discipline to
stay under. Why do I do it? Because I can, I am proving to myself I control
my mind and I believe there are benefits to be had from taking a cold shower.
There are certain steps needed to kick your willpower into action
An outcome (what is it you want to do?)
A plan (how are you going to do it?)
Action (get off your arse and do it!)
Let self discipline take over and repeat steps 1 -3 if necessary
Okay you’ve managed to get out of the sofa, walk the dog in the pouring
rain what now/ nothing, you have achieved your goal, but (always a but) do
you want to go on to bigger and better things, of course you do. Start
exercising your willpower regularly to keep it active and healthy. Here
are a few exercises to keep your willpower active and fit:
Read for half an hour every day
Stand on a chair for 5 minutes a day (If anybody asks what you are doing
tell them it’s a new form of meditation, you never know you might
be able to give classes in it.)
Take the dog for a walk every single morning for 21 days
Stop drinking coffee for a week
Get up half an hour earlier than usual for 21 days
Take a cold shower every morning for 21 days
Don’t eat sweets of any kind for a week
I am sure there are lots of things you could think of to exercise your willpower;
the above list is just a few examples.
Self control refers to the ability to control human behavior through the exertion of will. Self-control is required in order to inhibit impulsivity, and has been a recurrent theme throughout history, culture, and philosophy, where it is considered a key to volition (psychology) and free will.
In contemporary psychology it is sometimes referred to as self-regulation, and exerting self-control through the executive functions in decision making is thought to deplete a resource in the ego
People demonstrate great differences in the level of self-control. It can be affected because of illness and past experiences and it can be improved through the course of life. Many religions have teachings about self control. In the Christian context, Paul describes self control in the epistle to the Galatians (5:22-23), as one of the fruits of the Spirit. In the epistle addressed to Titus (2:5-6) he instructs to 'Urge the younger men to be self controlled.' The Apostle Peter describes an increase in self control as fundamental to the salvation of a Christian (2 Peter 1:5-8).
"A man without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls" (Proverbs 25:28).
Another view is that self-control represents the locus of two conflicting contingencies of reinforcement, which then make a controlling response reinforcing when it causes changes in the controlled response
In the 1960s, Walter Mischel tested four year old children for self control in "The Marshmallow Test": the children were each given a marshmallow and told that they can eat it anytime they want, but if they waited 15 minutes, they would receive another marshmallow. Follow up studies showed that the results correlated well with these children's success levels in later life
In the experimental analysis of behavior, research on self-control exists with rats, humans and pigeons. This work is based on the Assumption of generality.
An example of the kind of important work done in rat self-control research might be Green & Estle's work
Pigeon self-control research is typically done in a delay-reduction paradigm innovated in the early 1970s. In this model of research two responses are made available simultaneously. Each response leads to a different outcome. One response typically leads to a smaller-reinforcement with a small or no delay from the selection of that response to the onset of the consequence. The other response is typically a larger-reinforcement which has some element of delay. In pigeons a common level of delay is as little as 6 seconds to qualify as "large". A typical small-reinforcer, small delay response might be a red key that produces 2 seconds of food access with no delay. A typical larger-reinforcer response might produce 6 seconds of food access, but only after 6 seconds of delay from that selection. To ensure that the delayed response represents an overall superior choice a delay of several seconds usually follows the smaller-reinforcement choice.
Pigeon research replicates Mischel paradigm
Largely replicating the work of Mischel using pigeons instead of children, Grosch and Neuringer (1981) were able to affirm generality in pigeon and human self-control research by showing that the behavior of human children was accurately represented by pigeons presented with the same conditions.
Human self-control research is typically modelled by using a token economy system in which human participants choose between tokens for one choice and usually more tokens for a delayed choice. Different results were being obtained for humans and non-humans, with the latter appearing to maximize their overall reinforcement despite delays, with the former being sensitive to changes in delay. The difference in research methodologies with humans - using tokens or conditioned reinforcers - and non-humans using sub-primary reinforcers suggested procedural artifacts as a possible suspect. One aspect of these procedural differences was the delay to the exchange period (Hyten et al 1994). Non-human subjects can, and would, access their reinforcement immediately. The human subjects had to wait for an "exchange period" in which they could exchange their tokens for money, usually at the end of the experiment. When this was done with pigeons they responded much like humans in which males have less control than females (Jackson & Hackenberg 1996).
Most of the research in the field of self control assumes that self control is in general better than impulsiveness. Some developmental psychologists argue that this is normal, and people age from infants, who have no ability to think of the future, and hence no self control or delayed gratification, to adults. As a result almost all research done on this topic is from this standpoint and very rarely is impulsiveness the more adaptive response in experimental design.
More recently some in the field of developmental psychology have begun to think of self control in a more complicated way that takes into account that sometimes impulsiveness is the more adaptive response. In their view, a normal individual should have the capacity to be either impulsive or controlled depending on which is the most adaptive. However, this is a recent shift in paradigm and there is little research conducted along these lines.
The Function of Culture
According to Logue, it is possible to examine the differences between individuals development of self-control by examining it as a function of culture. “By definition, cultures vary in terms of the experiences provided the people who are a part of these cultures. It is possible, therefore, that during development, people in different cultures acquire different degrees or types of self-control” .
These differing degrees of self-control can be seen when comparing Western and Eastern cultures. In the United States, there appear to be strong tendencies for self-control and impulsivity. Western societies typically describe self control as, “goal-oriented productivity, assertiveness and instrumental doing”. Logue further states that, “self-control and resistance to temptation has long been part of Americans’ Judeo-Christian heritage. However, in recent decades, there has been concern that this early emphasis on self control may be dissipating”. This dissipation has been attributed to the baby boom or, “me” generation of the 70’s & 80’s and the decreasing rate of savings by current members of this age. This decline in self-control has additionally been noted by Kelly Brownells’ research stating that in modern society, “the degree to which someone is judged as possessing self-control is significantly affected by the degree to which the person has a fit, thin body”(Brownell, 1991.
With regard to Eastern culture, societies have described self-control as “yielding, letting go, acceptance, and nonattachment” . This difference between the descriptions of self-control from those in Western society are not due to differences in definition, but rather the difference in what is considered a large outcome worth exhibiting self-control for. Emphasis must be made on the importance placed on self-control by the two societies. In Japanese culture, “individual gratification is valued much less than is advancement of the fortunes of the group. This requires individuals to set aside their personal interests in order to work for the long-term goals of society” . The samurai code, or ‘The Code of the Warriors’ also known as bushido, is a clear example of this. This can also be seen in the extreme self-control exhibited by high-school students in Japan preparing for college entrance examinations. Logue states that, “many Japanese organizations put more emphasis on the college examination score rather than on performance during college” .
Just as self-control (in terms of money and savings mainly due to easier credit in recent times) in Western society seems to be decreasing (particularly in America), recent findings relating to a decrease in the rate of savings in Japan suggests that a similar trend may be surfacing. Looking at the rate of savings can provide insight into the long-term planning strategies of the cultures. With growing technology and globalization, previous differences between the two cultures may be disappearing
Research by Roy Baumeister and others shows that the ability to self-control oneself relies on a power source that diminishes after exertion.
Subjects that were given a task that involves self-control were later less able for self-control even in entirely different areas. This result was replicated in over a hundred experiments.
Self control was also shown to improve upon exercise. Exercise in these experiments varied. Taking care on posture, doing regular exercise, and other forms of self-control improved over time the self-control ability in seemingly unrelated areas.
Self control and the quality of life
Reviews concluded that self control is correlated with various positive life outcomes, such as happiness, adjustment and various positive psychological factors.
Self Control as defined here is also known as impulse control or self regulation. Some psychologists prefer the term impulse control because it may be more precise. The term Self regulation is used to refer to the many processes individuals use to manage drives and emotions. Therefore, self regulation also embodies the concept of will power. Self Regulation is an extremely important executive function of the brain. Deficits in self control/regulation are found in a large number of psychological disorders including ADHD, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, addiction, eating disorders and impulse control disorders
أعلِ همتك...قوِّ إرادتك .... اشحذ عزيمتك... لا تتوانَ ولا تتكاسل... فإن عمرك القصير الثمين لا يحتمل كل هذا الخمول الذي يضيع حياتك سدى و قوة الارادة تمكنك من السيطرة على حياتك و تحقيق احلامك و السعادة ما شاء الله لك منها
قوة الارادة والاصرار والتحدي والدأب
قصيدة مترجمة لروديا كيلينج
,, إذا ,,
اذا استطعت ان تحتفظ برأسك عندما يفقد كل من حواليك رؤوسهم وينحون عليك باللائمة
اذا وثقت بنفسك عندما يفقد كل انسان ثقته فيك وتترك مع ذلك مجالا للشك
اذا استطعت ان تنتظر دون ان تمل الانتظار او ان يعاملك الاخرون بالكذب من دون ان تلجأ اليه او تكون موضع كراهية ولكنك لاتدع مجالا للكره للتسرب الى نفسك ولاتبدو افضل مما ينبغي ولا تتكلم بحكمة اكثر مما يجب
اذا استطعت ان تحلم ولاتدع للاحلام سيادة عليك
اذا استطعت ان تفكر ولاتجعل الافكار غايتك القصوى
اذا استطعت ان تجابه الفوز والفشل وتعامل هذين المخاتلين على حد سواء
اذا استطعت ان تكدس كل ما تملك من ارباح وتغامر بها دفعة واحدة
وتخسرها جميعا ثم تبدأ من جديد
من دون ان تنطق بكلمة واحدة عن خسارتك
اذا استطعت ان تخاطب الجماهير غير ان تتخلى عن فضائلك وان تسير ركاب الملوك من دون ان تفقد مزاياك المعتادة
اذا عجز الاعداء والاصدقاء والمحبون عن اثارة حفيظتك بايدائهم اياك
اذا كان الناس كلهم عندك سواسية من دون ان يكون لاي منهم اهمية خاصة
اذا استطعت ان تملآ الدقيقة الغاضبة التي لاتغفر لاحدٍ
بما يعادل ستين ثانية من السعي ركظاً فلك الارض وماعليها
وانت فوق كل ذلك ستكون رجلآ
يابني ....... !