It’s the 7th day of your latest attempt at dieting. You call in that last ounce of willpower to resist that delicious looking meat burger. Having already drained all your willpower for the day, you need to find just a bit more of willpower to do that 6 km run before you end your day. If you find it, you win and you live to fight another day. If not, you are a ‘loser’. Does grit and persistance have to always be so difficult?. How is it that some humans show tremendous grit and persistenc for years and achieve amazing goals like gold medals at the Olympics or billion dollar companies or great families and more. Scientific studies have proven that grit and persistence in an individual is a greater indicator of success than intelligence or talent. Grit and persistence boils down to one’s will power to pursue one’s goals with unwavering dedication.. Will power, like any other muscle, can be strengthened with exercise. It also does not need be an endless torture of pain and sacrifice. Pain and sacrifice, afterall, is merely a viewpoint of our mind. I believe, the secret to developing willpower lies in kindness and compassion.
1. Be kind to your future self: Look at each day and wonder what would your future self want you to choose for you now. Would your future self be healthy if you watched your diet today . Would he want you to train 6 days a week so he would win that medal 4 years from now. Would he be disappointed if you chose not to study for your CAT exam when he fails that exam. Will your future self be grateful to you for the choices you make today. Would he he be grateful for all the good habits, like exercising, eating healthy, constantly learning, that you worked on developing. Habits which make him happy, healthy and successful. If you can be kind on your future self today, then making those seemingly harder choices would be much easier.
2. Be compassionate to your current self: You will make mistakes. You will falter and you will fail. Do not berate yourself for failing. Be compassionate on yourself and learn from your failures. Failing is but a stepping stone to success. Commend yourself for the effort you put in and move forward. Kindness and compassion to others are two qualities espoused by every religion. spiritual teaching, self help process. There is not one guru, saint or prophet who does not ask you to be kind and compassionate. You too deserve that same kindness and compassion from yourself. Kindness to your future self and compassion to your current self will help you stay gritty and persistent in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. It will be the guiding lamp in your quest for your destiny. It will keep you going through those dark nights with patience and grit when the very core of your willpower and being is challenged.