How to Develop Resilient Willpower

Resilient Willpower

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Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
— Confucius


Understanding Resilient Willpower

Every now and then you will come across unique individuals who have an insatiable desire and strength to persist despite the obstacles that stand in their way. No matter what happens to them they just keep moving forward with unshakable confidence and self-belief. These individuals seem to have no limitations and no weaknesses, in fact, they seem somewhat superhuman. However, the truth is they are just like you and me. They have fears, limiting habits and quirky behaviors that make them uniquely human. Nevertheless, they accept their weaknesses for what they are and yet still have the resilience and willpower to overcome any obstacle, disappointment or problem that stands in their way.

These individuals realize that their only limitations are the limitations of their mind. And so they develop their mind on a daily basis ensuring that it is in prime condition to help them do, be, have and achieve whatever it is that their heart desires.

The human mind is like a muscle. With practice and time it can be conditioned to perform seemingly remarkable feats that strengthen the body and harden our emotional resolve. In fact, your mind is the one and primary key that will help you develop unstoppable resilience and willpower in the face of adversity.


How to Develop Resilient Willpower

Having resilience and willpower is about finding the inner strength to overcome laziness, procrastination, temptations, disappointment, failure, limiting habits and beliefs.

Cultivating resilience and willpower is about having the courage to make the toughest of decisions in the face of adversity.

Harnessing resilience and willpower is about completing actions that are aligned with your objectives despite the problems and setbacks that stand in your way, and regardless of the resistance, difficulties and discomfort that is pulling you back into your comfort zone.

Living with resilience and willpower is about learning to adapt to changing conditions and to difficult and unpredictable circumstances.

Having resilience and willpower is about bouncing straight back up after the worst setbacks you have ever experienced.

Cultivating resilience and willpower is about overcoming personal limitations that would normally stop you in your tracks and weaken your spirit.

Harnessing resilience and willpower is about learning continuously from your failures and mistakes until the world has nothing more to teach you.

Living with resilience and willpower is about personally rejecting the temptations of instant gratification.

Having resilience and willpower is about cultivating the self-discipline to direct your focus, persist and commit to a desired outcome despite the chaos and adversity that is trying to rip you apart in multiple directions.

Yes, this resilient willpower thing does seem somewhat complex, and yet it is within this process of complexity that the answers you are looking for can be found.


Cultivating Resilience and Willpower

Just like a farmer needs to cultivate his crop throughout the year, we must also be prepared to cultivate the necessary skills, beliefs, qualities and actions that are required to strengthen our resolve and grow the superhuman powers of a resilient individual.

Required Skills

Resilience and willpower requires us to learn to think critically and creatively when under intense pressure from outside circumstances. It requires us to master control over our emotions under all conditions. It requires us to become more socially aware of others and self-aware of ourselves and our own personal tendencies.

Resilience and willpower requires us to learn to prioritize our time effectively, to manage our levels of stress proactively, and learn to make better and more effective decisions on a daily basis.

Mastering these skills will naturally allow us to develop the necessary habits that are required to develop the superhuman ability of resilient willpower.

Indispensable Beliefs

Having resilience and willpower requires an inner strength, confidence and a self-belief that does not break apart in the face of an insurmountable force whose only desire is to shatter our spirit and destroy our sense-of-reality. Hence for that reason, resilient willpower requires us to cultivate four indispensable beliefs that will naturally harden our soul and entrench us firmly into the ground.

I can do and be anything I choose..

Anything is possible to do and achieve..

I have unlimited potential..

All the answers lie within me..

If all the answers lie within you, then you really have nothing to fear, nothing to worry about and certainly nothing to doubt.

Critical Traits

Resilience and willpower requires us to cultivate certain and specific traits that will help to solidify the foundational building blocks of our psychology. These traits will not only shape how we think, but they will also influence every decision and action we take and consequently the results we create.

Ambition

Resilience and willpower requires ambition to reach for the highest peaks, to sail the unpredictable seas and to fly in the face of uncertainty. In fact, ambition will allow us to see beyond our present moment, providing us with a long-term perspective that will motivate, inspire and push us forward to ever greater accomplishments.

Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is like a long-life battery that keeps our spirits high in the face of uncertainty and adversity. It strengthens our will to never give up, resist temptations while enabling us to see things from a new perspective.

Persistence and Determination

Resilience and willpower requires us to persist despite the adversity that life throws our way. It requires us to persist with determination so that life has no choice but to give us what we want each and every day.

Childlike Curiosity

Curiosity opens doors that have been closed, windows that have been locked and opportunities that have been lying out-of-sight and out-of-reach for far too long. In fact, curiosity forces us to ask better and more effective questions about our life and circumstances. This naturally forces us to think differently, to consider new understandings and gain unique perspectives.

Optimism

Optimism is the light that keeps us moving forward when darkness is all around. It is the beacon that shines brightly in the night sky unveiling the hope for the present and the potential of a future that is yet to be scripted.

Faith

Resilience and willpower requires faith to believe in something that cannot be seen, cannot be touched and cannot be experienced — except in the mind. It is about believing in something that is physical yet imagined, real yet surreal. It is about believing in the power of creating something out of nothing despite the odds that are stacked against you.

Unshakable Self Discipline, Confidence and Control

Resilience and willpower requires self-discipline to focus wholeheartedly on what needs to get done; the confidence to push forward despite the problems that are weighing you down, and the control to resist the distractions and temptations that life throws your way.

Smart Actions

In order to develop resilience and willpower you must act with purpose in a proactive manner each and everyday. At the same time your actions must be flexible and adaptable to the changing conditions and circumstances of your life, and most importantly they must be focused and directed at what you want to do, be, have and achieve.

In the end, it doesn’t matter how you think. It’s within your actions that results are realized and opportunities are found.


Learn to Develop New Habits

Habits are at the cornerstone of our decisions and actions. They are pre-programmed behaviors that we have cultivated over an extended period of time. They define who we are and they can effectively predict what we will achieve today and in the future.

Resilience and willpower requires us to cultivate a set of unique habits that will enable you to persist and keep moving forward despite the obstacles and setbacks standing in our way.

Anticipate Problems

When you develop the ability to anticipate problems in advance, you can better prepare yourself for what’s yet to come. Some would say that the habit of anticipating problems in advance would turn you into a pessimist. That would be true if all you saw was problems on the horizon.

The key is to anticipate problems and look for solutions, answers and opportunities that you can take advantage of if the problems do arise.

Acquire Necessary Resources

The habit of acquiring necessary resources in advance is critical to success, because when you are confronted with setbacks, it’s the resources you have on hand that will determine how quickly and effectively you are able to overcome these obstacles.

Resources can include skills, knowledge, information, tools, strategies, techniques, and support that you may need to help you move beyond difficult moments in your life.

You must therefore anticipate your problems in advance, determine what solutions and opportunities these problems could present you with, and then acquire the necessary resources that will help you to take advantage of whatever life throws your way.

Accept Mistakes and Setbacks

Mistakes and setbacks are only temporary pit-stops along your journey that present you with an opportunity to learn from your experience and therefore make better and more effective decisions in the future.

Understand Self Intimately

You must get into the habit of discovering more about yourself each and everyday. Get to know yourself intimately including your fears, levels of discomfort, emotions, weaknesses and strengths. The more intimately you know yourself, the more intuitive you will become when making decisions and taking effective actions. Your actions will subsequently focus on your strengths while managing your weaknesses to ensure that they don’t get the better of you during decisive moments of your life.

Understand Opportunities for Growth

It is within the moments of greatest difficulty that present us with the greatest opportunity to grow and develop ourselves on multiple levels. And it is within these moments that you must become aware of your weaknesses and limitations — learning from them as you would about anything else to better prepare yourself for the future.

Keep An Open Mind

It is easy to become closed-minded when circumstances overwhelm you, when a series of decisions seem to be taking you nowhere, and when your dearest beliefs are tested in the face of adversity. It’s during times like these that you must think outside the box and begin viewing things from a different perspective. And it is during times like these that you might need to start questioning your deepest beliefs and convictions that could very well be preventing you from moving forward in life.

Keep Things Fun

When you are having fun doing what you love, life seems easy and carefree. You’re no longer overwhelmed with problems and setbacks and you see things from a more positive and optimistic perspective.

Keep Focused on the Present Moment

It’s important to have a long-term view of life. However, at the same time it’s important to stay grounded in the present moment.

Problems and setbacks can become overwhelming very quickly if we view them from a wider global perspective. However, by focusing on the present moment — on what you can control and do now — you are grounding yourself and this helps focus your mind on what’s most important right now that will make the biggest difference to your future.

Keep Moving Forward

When obstacles and setbacks get the better of you, it’s easy to hesitate and step away from the danger. This is all well and good if the risks seem too high. However, as you step back you must at the same time keep moving forward in other ways. Only through this type of effort will you maintain your level of momentum and motivation that will help pull you across the finish line.

Take Personal Responsibility

Those who cultivate resilience and willpower make no excuses for anything that they do, or for anything that happens to them. They fully understand that in order to achieve their objectives, that they must account for and take full responsibility for their decisions and actions at all times.

By taking responsibility for everything (the good, bad and the ugly) signifies that you are in control and in charge of your destiny. On the other hand, by not taking responsibility, you are in essence giving control away to events, people or circumstances that you simply lack the influence or skill to control. In the long-term this substantially weakens your resolve and sets you on course for failure.


Resilient Willpower Strategies

Resilience and willpower is built upon the foundations of taking massive action on a daily basis to achieve your goals and objectives. This action must however be focused and directed accordingly to maximize results, strengthen motivation while minimizing mistakes as much as possible.

Never Hesitate

The moment you hesitate to make a decision or to take action is the moment you lose the momentum you have created. Likewise, you lose self-confidence in yourself and your own abilities, which can lead to fear, doubt, procrastination and a plethora of other limiting habits and emotions. This is not saying that you should take action despite the risks. What it is saying is that you must take calculated risks that are based on solid research and feedback.

Never Procrastinate

Procrastination is comprised of nothing more than an avalanche of excuses and imaginative stories that you tell yourself on a daily basis about how you can’t do one thing and instead prefer to do something else. It leads to a vicious cycle of doubt, fear and insecurity that can plague you for the rest of your life. Likewise, it halts the momentum you have created thus far along your journey towards the achievement of your goals and objectives.

Never Diminish Positives

When fixated with problems and setbacks it’s easy to diminish the good that has come as a result of your decisions and actions. These positives may in fact help unlock new answers and opportunities that will help you proceed along this journey. However, if you deny or don’t acknowledge the lessons you have learned, the solutions you have acquired or the indispensable experiences you have gained along the way, then you may very well be denying yourself the very chance to make the “wrongs” right again.

Never Amplify Nagatives

When things go wrong unexpectedly, it’s easy to become obsessed with the evil consequences of our decisions and actions. Moreover, when we get our imaginations involved in the process, we can turn the seemingly innocent into hell on earth.

Within every negative circumstance, their lies a positive outcome that can be taken advantage of if you are patient and attentive to the details. So focus instead on amplifying the positives, and diminishing the negatives.

Never Give Up

No matter what happens, never give up, never quit! Life is too short to stop halfway, and you never really know how close you are from reaching your desired outcome. It may seem so far, and yet it could only be a whisker away.

Never Make Assumptions

Based on past experience — regarding what has worked or hasn’t worked for you before — it is easy to assume that nothing will change in the present. However, every circumstance and condition brings with it a unique set variables, emotions, people and events that are subtly different than they were before — meaning that new opportunities and solutions lie on the horizon waiting to be found.

Never Wilt Under Pressure

When water starts to boil and when the steam begins to rise, most people wilt under the pressure and give up the fight. If most people wilt and you don’t, then I guess this means that you now have an unfair advantage over your opponents and access to a window of opportunity that may not present itself again.

Always Welcome Adversity

When you learn to welcome adversity with enthusiasm, you harden yourself for the tough times that are still yet to come. Moreover, you begin to view the problems in your life with renewed confidence that provides you with a clearer perspective of the road that lies ahead.

Visualize Success and Reflect

By visualizing your eventual success and by taking the time to reflect on your experiences and mistakes, you effectively clarify what it is you want and resolve to improve the process that will get you there far more quickly than ever before. Furthermore, the process of visualization and self-reflection helps build the momentum you need to propel yourself forward through anything that stands in your way.

Clarify Desires and Benefits of Objectives

The process of clarifying your desires and the benefits of your objectives helps build enthusiasm, confidence and motivation to achieve your goals despite the obstacles and challenges that life throws in your direction.

Always Seek Alternate Perspectives

Life is all about perspective. How you see the circumstances of your life is dependent upon your past experiences, memories and your current emotional state. This therefore suggests that what you see is only an interpretation of reality. And since it’s only an interpretation of how circumstances are in your life right now, you therefore have the power to consciously transform your perspective at any time and begin to see things in a far more supportive way.

Act Upon Proven Facts

Fact or fiction? Knowing the difference between the two will significantly affect the outcomes resulting from your decisions and actions. Therefore you must make sure that you do not emotionalize events and circumstances in your life. Otherwise you may find yourself basing your decisions on fiction over fact.

Facts are proven things that have a place and position in time. Fictitious things on the other hand are opinions and ideas that cannot be proven or quantified.

Take Small and Progressive Steps Daily

Small and progressive steps daily are more effective than large steps taken occasionally and inconsistently. Momentum is created when you move forward consistently towards your goals and objectives. Alternatively, momentum is lost when you cycle through periods of action and procrastination. It not only robs you of your enthusiasm but also subdues your creativity.

Act Contrary to Limiting Beliefs and Habits

Sometimes within your limitations and weaknesses your greatest opportunities for success are found.

Your greatest challenges in life reveal to you your deepest and darkest fears, weaknesses and limitations. Simply by doing the opposite of your natural desires and inclinations, you will open a door of opportunities and new understandings that you never had before.

Resist Unimportant Desires

Instant gratification is the desire to gain short-term pleasure that will often help you avoid short-term pain, and yet will also deny or delay long-term pleasure that is associated with the achievement of your goals and objectives. Furthermore, it will rob you of your momentum that is critical to your long-term success.

Build a Strong Sense of Purpose

A sense-of-purpose is built upon the foundations of a higher cause. It is something that defines who you are, where you’re going, and who you are seeking to become. With this purpose in mind, you will develop the necessary momentum to overcome anything and everything that stands in the way from achieving your goals and objectives.

Maintain a Solution Focused Attitude

When problems overwhelm the reality of life, it’s easy for us to absorb ourselves with what’s not working. However, by focusing on what’s not working we naturally lose sight of what is working and on the solutions that problems bring to the table. So instead, focus on finding answers and opportunities by maintaining a solution focused attitude.

Plan Ahead Accounting for Murphy’s Law

A goal without a plan of action is simply wishful thinking. In fact, having no plan of action can be catastrophic if unexpected problems and circumstances arise.

When it comes to organizing a plan of action one must always account for Murphy’s Law. Because anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, all the time, every time, at the worst possible time, when you least expect it and you won’t even know about it till it’s too late! ;)

Control Emotions and Reactions to the Unexpected

No matter how much we plan or account for Murphy’s Law, there will always be events and circumstances that will unexpectedly surface at the worst possible time. During these moments we must maintain our emotional equilibrium. By controlling our emotional responses, we maintain a clear mind and can therefore make more effective decisions.

Ask Effective Questions

Questions are intrinsically connected to our thoughts, our thoughts to our habits, our habits to our decisions, and our decisions to our actions. In fact, one simple yet effective question can immediately transform our perspective of our circumstances and create the momentum we need to achieve our goals and objectives.

Here are five important questions that will help you overcome the obstacles in your life:

How can I best overcome this?

How must I think differently?

What opportunities am I not seeing?

What is an alternate way of looking at this?

What resources could assist me here?

Ask for Help

Finally, when we have exhausted all our options we can still maintain our high levels of resilience and willpower in the face of adversity by simply asking for help. Whatever we can’t do for ourselves, others can do for us. :)


Final Thoughts

Developing resilience and willpower is just as much a journey of the mind as it is a journey of experience. The more often you use these skills, beliefs, traits, actions and strategies to overcome the obstacles and setbacks in your life, the stronger your resilience muscle will become — helping you to create the momentum you need to manifest your desires and dreams into physical reality. However, when everything is said and done, remember that developing resilience and willpower will not happen over night, but rather over time through a consistent and concerted effort to transform your life forever.


Time to Assimilate these Concepts

Resilient Willpower

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12 Responses to “How to Develop Resilient Willpower”

  1. Motivational Speaker - Craig Harper March 1, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    What a fantastic and well written article. As someone who writes everyday, this article must have taken you forever.

    I learned early in my career that I would need to make up for my lack of talent with attitude and perseverance… I couldn’t control how much ability I had but I could control whether or not I threw in the towel or persevered… so when most people got bored, tired, uncomfortable or fearful… I hung in there (mostly).

    I knew that if I was going to create my own version of amazing, then it would have to come as a result of me doing what most people wouldn’t… finish stuff.

    Some of us will spend our entire life starting endeavours which we will never complete.

    Great at starting, crap at finishing.

    We start reading a book; we don’t get past chapter two (the vast majority of people who start reading books don’t finish them).

    We start a running program; we last two weeks – I know people who have started and stopped fifty running programs in their lifetime.

    We have a great business idea…. we don’t do anything with it.
    And then when someone else takes ‘our idea’ and turns it into a reality, we sulk for three months and feel ripped off… when in reality, the only person who short-changed us was… us!

    We start a diet on Monday (apparently it’s illegal to start on any other day), we’re done by Wednesday. On January 1 this year, 4 million Australians (that’s twenty percent of our population) started a diet (according to media stats). I don’t have the figures on how long the majority of those dieters stayed with their resolution but here’s my educated guess… not long!

    They didn’t finish what they started.

    Keep up the great writing!
    .-= Motivational Speaker – Craig Harper´s last blog ..Your Creative Self =-.

    • Adam Sicinski March 2, 2010 at 5:05 pm #

      Hi Craig,

      Thanks for sharing those great insights. It just goes to show that sticking with our endeavors long-term can be the difference between living a life of fulfillment or a life of regrets.

      Personally I tend to reflect from time-to-time on things I did that I didn’t stick with. For instance I wonder if I had continued playing guitar over the years, how good I would be today. I guess it’s all about opportunity cost. You give up one thing in order to find time for something else. However, if that “something else” is going to prevent me from living the life I want to live, than I guess I need to make better decisions :)

  2. As someone who has done research into resilient women, I feel impressed by your list of resilience strengthening strategies–nicely organized and descirbed in easy-to-understand language.

    I particulary agree with Craig Harper’s point of, “I would need to make up for my lack of talent with attitude and perseverance.” Yet as the adoptive mother of a 42 year old with Fetal Alcohol Spectum Disorder I want to caution readers in always aiming for the stars. Sometimes by aiming for the stars we can reach the moon. Other times we can end up no-where if our handicaps are not taken into consideration.

    Our daughter, for example, wants to be a doctor, wants support in doing so but so far her memory, impusivlity and brain impairment make it a major task to hold down a part-time job caring for toddlers. There are those who need to temper their “whatever it is that their heart desires” with what is realistic. We can’t all be rocket sciencists. But we can all take pride and strength when we offer the best of ourselves.

    • Adam Sicinski July 7, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

      Hi Patricia,

      I think you make a very valid point. It’s not intelligence or talent by rather the inner strength we can muster at a moments notice that is more important than anything else.

      Thank you also for sharing your story. Like you, I will now begin reaching for the stars :)

  3. Engy December 30, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    I would like to thank you very much. Using the strategies provided and your recommendations, I stopped drinking coffee after 2 years of struggling.Happy new year to you and to all of your blog’s fans.

    • Adam Sicinski December 30, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

      That’s fantastic Engy. Congratulations!

      I also wish you the very best for the New Year. Kick some butt with your New Years resolutions :)

  4. Curtis Carpenter December 22, 2012 at 3:34 am #

    It doesnt take a tough man to show what he can do to others but a tough man to show what others can do to him.

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