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The Fallacy Of Willpower

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In this article I discuss how willpower is used to create a false sense of hope, as well as how it's simply an ineffective way of thinking about recovery.

tldr;

Willpower merely cultivates a false sense of hope.

The alternative to willpower is to engage in conscious change.

2019-07-14

Willpower is a lie.

It’s a fabulous lie peddled by all sorts of celebrities and self-help gurus as an unlimited source of potential and opportunity, which can allow you to attain absolutely anything you want in life.

It’s a lie because it leads people to develop all sorts of inflated ideas as to how humans can learn and progress, often well-beyond which humans are actually capable of.

So let’s dive a little deeper into why this is.


What is willpower exactly?


Well, willpower is this idea that sheer determination can help us get through anything regardless of perspective, insight or strategy.

It is the equivalent of banging your head against a door for 12 hours in order to open it, inspite of the fact that the previous 12 hours have proved that what you’re doing clearly hasn’t been working.

It is easily the lowest form of inspiration available to humans, so why has willpower become so prevalent as an idea for change?

There are a few reasons I can think of.

Part of the reason is because it’s a self-fulfilling struggle, and you’ll notice that no one ever speaks of willpower until they start struggling.

In other words, willpower is nothing more a false sense of hope we try to encourage, in order to help people rationalise their own struggle.

Wait, so you’re struggling to push through and see results!? Well, the reason why is because you need more willpower, silly!

Which essentially equates to continuing to do the exact same thing as you were previously, inspite of the fact that what you have been doing clearly hasn’t been working out.

Otherwise, you wouldn’t be struggling as you are in the first place, and this idea of willpower would have never entered your mind.

But of course, that’s also why this idea of willpower has become such an available idea for people to peddle, package and abuse as a solution to all of life’s problems.


Because no matter what, you can always blame and attribute your struggle to a lack of willpower, and it's something which absolutely cannot be disproved.


A large part of the reason why people buy it is because many people merely seek justification in life in order to feel a sense of hope and purpose.

Which is to say that they don’t particular care about the results of their actions. They only care to address the guilt and shame that they’re currently feeling.

In fact, a lot of people end up confusing their emotions for actual progress, which is precisely how people get stuck in these cycles of guilt and shame related to their inability to succeed.

I also think a large part of the reason why people resort to this idea of willpower is precisely because it’s a largely thoughtless exercise.

It’s really easy to just say “It’s because I didn’t have enough willpower”, than actually engage in meaningful change, and this an especially huge issue for those seeking recovery.

Even here on NeverFap Deluxe.

People will practice the exercises and they’ll fully understand what’s required of them, but the moment they face a difficult situation, it’s like they’ll immediately shut their minds down, return back to old habits and disregard the skills they’ve been developing up until now.


Well, I'm here to tell you that there is literally no alternative to conscious engaging with your mind.


It is the only path towards meaningful change, and the sooner you understand this, the sooner you can break out of these cycles of helplessness which plague us like disease.

Ultimately if I had to describe what willpower is, I would describe it as something people pursue when they don’t have a solid strategy in place.

It’s what people resort to when they don’t have a set of effective fundamental principles in place, and so continue to blindly do the same thing over and over again.

It’s false hope at it’s finest.

So what’s the alternative to willpower?

Well, almost everything is an alternative to willpower. Whether that be further educating yourself, devising a solid strategy or returning back to a set of fundamental principles, all these things will help you with your path moving forward.


Usually the best thing we can do when we're struggling is to simply calm down, take a step back and become aware of ourselves in that moment.


Precisely so we can evaluate our situation, and in most cases simply refrain from reacting altogether.

Remaining calm and collected instead, which is how we should be feeling most of the time anyway if we’re regularly practicing meditation and other mindfulness exercises.

And this applies particularly when we’ve lost balance in some way, and we’re beginning to experience urges.

Of course, the key element here is that you’re using your mind in order to do something differently with the purpose of improving our actions and understanding of the situation.

If you rely on willpower to help you get through your urges, then you are merely leaving your recovery to chance and you will always end up relapsing.

And sure, although it may help you in some situations, in no way is it also helping you develop control over your mind, so it’s merely hindering your progress long-term.

Only through conscious change can we learn to develop control over our minds, and live our lives to our fullest.

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