Willpower and motivation are also two concepts that would probably benefit from some discussion, especially as these words relate to the theme of this book.
It seems some of us are of the opinion that we can do things with willpower. Willpower doesn’t seem to yield lasting effects for us, though. When we apply willpower at some point, the thing we’re “willpowering” turns up again. Perhaps in a different guise, but nevertheless, whatever we thought we had conquered or eliminated with willpower is likely to show up in our lives again.
Then there is motivation. We seem to feel we can motivate other people, or that we can be motivated by others or even by ourselves. The fact is, when motivation comes from external sources, its strongest state will likely only last while the person driving it is present, or while whatever needs motivation is being motivated. Some aftereffects will remain, however—debris of the motivation, whether enforced by willpower or motivation, so to speak, might remain for some time, or even remain forever.
What is important to observe here is that both willpower and motivation, even when employed by another on us or by ourselves on us, are used to enforce a certain “belief ” on us. But what isn’t addressed by the willpower or the motivation is this: Is what’s being enforced necessarily something we want in our lives? In some cases, the answer is yes. Perhaps you want to stop your habit of smoking, for example—you’d prefer that smoking is no longer part of your life. So yes, in some cases, we use willpower and motivation to enforce a change, something in our lives we would like to have different. Yet in most cases, whether it’s something we want in our lives or whether it’s something we might not want, the fact remains: we’re making the change by force if we use willpower, motivation, or both.
There is a much simpler way, and one that has lasting effects. Not always simple and easy, I’ll admit, but mostly simple and easy—except for certain habits that we might want to break that aren’t easy to break, even with this simple and easy method.
When we observe closely to whatever we’re applying willpower or motivation, we’re likely to see the underlying cause. And when we address the underlying cause, then we’re likely to uncover ourselves even further. If we do, when we address the cause, we’re far more likely to be able to make the adjustment required to move on, away from or toward whatever it is we want to achieve.
Doing it without willpower or motivation has two major differences. One is that we aren’t forcing anything on ourselves. But the main difference is that we’re likely to pursue only things that are important to us. Then no force is usually required, and the change happens more gradually and has lasting effect.
When you observe the origins of what you were indeed forcing on yourself with willpower and motivation, you’re likely to end up realizing that it’s something you don’t necessarily want in your life, and that it’s likely something driven by Factor-x.