5:55am: Whoop strap buzzes on my wrist
6:00am: A fleeting thought about why I'm an entrepreneur willingly getting up early to get to the office.
6:15am: Cold shower in the bag
6:40am: Coffee and athletic greens made
6:55am: In my office to gratitude journal and start my day
7:00am: Focused, no phone, no distractions first deep work block of the day
A brief but concise overview of my weekly mornings for the last 3 years give or take, but so what?
Asking the right questions is the key to behavioural change
- Is this a habit?
- Do I enjoy getting up and into the office whilst most people are just getting up?
- Is this morning routine using willpower and grit?
The answer isn't always as simple and straightforward as you want, but would I have benefited from having this routine always built into my life?
Your problem isn’t you don’t have the skills or the knowledge, your problem isn’t your best day against anyone else’s, your problem isn’t your dreams. Your problem is your motivation, the grit to go each and every day. Accountability, your mindset! - Author unknown
I spent 11330 days with willpower and grit not being words in my vocabulary, it was natural, easy, a relentless drive to succeed.
But then I got punched in the face........sort of!
What are willpower and Grit?
Willpower and grit are related concepts that refer to psychological traits associated with perseverance, self-control, and resilience.
While they share similarities, they also have distinct differences.
- Willpower, self-control, or self-discipline refers to the ability to regulate thoughts, emotions, and behaviours for long-term goals.
- It involves delaying gratification, resisting impulses, and making deliberate choices aligned with values or objectives.
- Willpower can be strengthened through practice and exertion, like a mental muscle.
- Grit, is a combination of passion and perseverance towards long-term goals.
- It involves sustained effort, resilience, and determination in the face of obstacles or setbacks.
- Grit requires commitment to goals, even when facing difficulties, failures, or delays.
- It encompasses resilience, tenacity, and perseverance in pursuing passions or aspirations.
The main difference between willpower and grit lies in their focus and scope. Willpower tends to be more focused on self-regulation and impulse control in the moment, while grit is more concerned with long-term perseverance and passion towards goals over time.
Willpower is often needed for short-term tasks or immediate challenges, such as resisting the temptation to eat unhealthy food or avoiding distractions while studying.
Grit, on the other hand, is a broader and more enduring trait that involves a deep commitment and sustained effort towards long-term goals, often in the face of significant obstacles or setbacks.
Willpower = focus on short-term self-regulation
Grit = long-term perseverance and passion towards goals.
Willpower or Grit = In the water
Willpower + Grit = The boat on the water
Willpower x Grit = Speed boat
Both traits can be cultivated and developed through practice and effort, and they can complement each other in helping individuals achieve their objectives and overcome challenges.
"Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them." --Vaibhav Shah
My first daughter was born.... this isn't some sad story.....it was one of the best days of my life.
Yet it changed my experiences dramatically, it's what kick started my journey into performance and coaching.
High performance had come naturally to me and still does up to a point.
I knew after weeks of limited sleep, running multiple businesses and keeping myself healthy...... I needed to work out what I had been doing for so long with no thought.
I needed to learn and understand the core of my productivity, motivation and enthusiasm.
I needed willpower and grit to stay in the water, not to just stay in it but build a boat, craft an engine and propel myself through the water.
this combination of passion and perseverance that made high achievers special. In a word, they had grit - Angela Duckworth
Willpower isn’t genetics and grit may matter more than talent
If willpower isn't genetics, what had I naturally cultivated, if willpower and grit can be developed, what had I developed without a singular thought?
Whilst I agree with the sentiment of willpower and grit not being genetics, from my experiences we all start with a different base line of willpower and grit (any many other traits such as resilience).
What is important is to remove the thought of any predisposition towards willpower and grit and to shift your story.
Your story should not rely heavily on being motivated by social media, money and social standing. Your story should be driven with a growth mindset and intrinsic motivation.
Stop using not being as talented as someone as an excuse!
Your new story
You don't need to find yourself like so many, always nearly being where you want to be or not sticking to your plans and goals.
You don't need to be frustrated, knowing there is more out there. Knowing you can do more but you are not quite sure how.
I know you are nowhere near hitting your full potential!
The human individual lives usually far within his limits; he possesses powers of various sorts which he habitually fails to use. He energizes below his maximum, and he behaves below his optimum - William James
Upgrading willpower and grit
The good news is no matter where you are right now you can train and cultivate willpower and grit, this is only one part of upgrading your state and transforming your life, but it's a great start!
Upgrading willpower and grit requires a holistic approach that encompasses various aspects of our lives. It's not just about one single strategy, but a combination of different elements that work together to strengthen our resolve and perseverance.
These are the areas that have been most valuable to me
- Growth mindset: Embrace the belief that our abilities can be developed through effort and perseverance. This mindset helps us stay resilient and motivated, even when faced with challenges or setbacks. It involves being mindful of the narratives we create about ourselves and our abilities, and ensuring they are positive and empowering.
- Intrinsic motivation: Connect with what truly motivates us from within. Intrinsic motivation, driven by our personal values and passions, provides a strong foundation for willpower and grit. It helps us stay committed and focused on our long-term goals, even when the going gets tough.
- Manage stress: Chronic stress can drain our willpower and make it harder to stay disciplined. Prioritising self-care, practicing stress-reducing techniques such as mindfulness or exercise, and creating a supportive environment that minimises unnecessary stressors can help us maintain our willpower and grit.
- Nutrition: Our brain needs proper fuel to function optimally, and a healthy diet plays a crucial role in supporting willpower and cognitive function. Eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and avoiding excessive sugar or processed foods can help us maintain our energy levels and preserve our willpower.
- Morning ritual: Starting our day with healthy habits can set the tone for the rest of the day. Getting up early, engaging in physical activity, and taking a cold shower can help boost our energy levels, enhance mental clarity, and activate our willpower for the day ahead.
- Cognitive load: Willpower is a finite resource that can be depleted over the course of the day. Being mindful of the tasks and decisions that require the most mental effort and minimising unnecessary decision-making or multitasking can help us conserve our willpower for important goals.
- Willpower depletion theory: Making decisions or exerting self-control can deplete our willpower, making it harder to resist temptations or stay disciplined. Planning ahead, creating routines, and simplifying choices can help us avoid decision fatigue and preserve our willpower.
- Reflect and seek feedback: Taking the time to reflect on our progress, learn from our mistakes, and gather feedback from trusted sources can provide valuable insights and help us refine our strategies. It allows us to make adjustments, learn from failures, and continuously improve our willpower and grit.
- Sleep: Adequate and quality sleep is crucial for cognitive function, emotional regulation, and self-control. Prioritizing sleep can recharge our willpower and enhance our ability to stay resilient and persistent in the face of challenges.
- Hypnotherapy: Hypnotherapy is a form of therapy that uses hypnosis to access the subconscious mind and influence positive change. It can be used to address various aspects related to willpower and grit, such as overcoming limiting beliefs, building self-confidence, and enhancing motivation. Hypnotherapy can help us tap into the power of our subconscious mind and reprogram unhelpful thought patterns or behaviours, supporting our efforts to upgrade our willpower and grit.
It's a continuous process that requires consistent practice, self-awareness, and determination, but the results can be immensely rewarding as we develop the discipline and resilience to overcome obstacles and achieve our aspirations.
Rest at the end not in the middle
You have control over your state so why do you keep resting in the middle?
Start to instil deep intrinsic motivation, a growth mindset and do the basics better than anyone you know. Its discipline that will shine through.
If you really want to achieve your goals, transform your life and reach your full potential make sure you are depositing daily compound interest. Just one small step forward each day.
We all have one single force we can control. So work daily on your mindset, take note of the things that push you back and work on them.
The power of now disproportionately affects our futures and it's never too late.
P.S. Don't use up any daily willpower trying to convince people that don't want to listen. Invest in your own story!