this 1 thing is stronger than your willpower

Environment is stronger than willpower
Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

we have all been in situations where we wish to accomplish something but are not able to do so. we genuinely want it to happen. we give it our all; we use all of the willpower we can muster up but still, it is not enough. whether it be cutting down on sweets, saving more money, quitting a “bad” habit, etc.

if this sounds familiar, keep reading. i’m going to share the 1 thing which is stronger than willpower.


in his book, the one thing, gary keller wrote:

consider willpower as renewable energy. 

your willpower is depleted when
1. you focus your attention.
2. modify behavior to pursue goals.
3. suppress your feelings or impulses.

you only have a limited amount of willpower each day

if you apply willpower for one task, you will have less willpower for the next one unless you recharge. 

when your willpower is low, you will return to your default setting, and your default setting will define your level of achievement. (what’s your default setting?)


by the end of the day, you have the least amount of willpower and so you might give up on what you want most for what you want now.

but there is one thing which is stronger than willpower and will help you do more of what you want most. and that is (drumroll please)…. your environment!

yes, your environment is stronger than your willpower!

by environment I mean your immediate surroundings, what you can touch, hear, see, smell — in context of your goal.

your environment also includes your friends/family, what you consume on TV/internet, What you read/listen to, and so on. More on this here (point 5).

example of environment being stronger than willpower  

suppose your goal is to cut down on sweets. now imagine this,

you’ve been working all day, you’re tired, you’re hungry. you go to the dining table, have your dinner, and boom — you see a box of your fav choco-chip cookies across the table.
(remember, as the day goes by so does your willpower.)
now, you try to remind yourself of your commitment of reducing sugar intake but you can’t help but notice those delicious cookies and your mouth starts to water. so you say to yourself, “okay this one cookie won’t do any harm. i’ll reduce the intake from tomorrow.”
and this repeats.

now, imagine when you came home, had dinner, and after dinner, there were no cookies across the table. there were no sweets. 
(or, if you REALLY crave post-dinner sweet, there was a healthy option for sweet – fruits, for example.) then you would have fruits.
you wouldn’t have to exert your willpower in that case, making it easier for you to accomplish your goal of reducing sugar intake.

now, this is just one example but it applies to all areas of your life.


your environment either acts as an ally or an enemy. the best part is, you get to choose that. and i know you want it to be an ally, who wouldn’t?

to set up a supportive environment:
1. get clear on your goal.
2. inspect your environment from the context of your goal — ask yourself, is this making it easier for me to accomplish my goal?
3. if it is not making it easier, take it out and replace it with something that does support you.

to conclude

you have a limited amount of willpower each day and it depletes as the day goes by. 

by setting up an environment that supports you, you reduce the need to exert willpower, hence making it easier for you to accomplish your goals. 

so, set up a supportive environment for yourself and save your willpower for other productive work 🙂

PS
we at notjussayin, take the importance of environment very seriously, and have set up a shop which helps you create a supportive environment. we invite you to check it out 🙂

do your best!

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