If You Want to Increase Willpower, Fall in Love

We know what’s right and what’s good for us. But we often feel we don’t have the willpower to do it.
If you really have no willpower you won’t even be here reading about how to increase your willpower. Every thought you act upon indicates you have some willpower. A thought comes to your mind, “I want to get up and go to the next room”, and you do it. That indicates willpower. It is impossible to have no willpower.
Certain things may not be happening because your mind is used to some habit or some temptation, and then you feel, “I don’t have willpower”. But, as long as you have a will, there is power.
When you say you have no willpower, you have already locked your hands. You have put a label on your forehead that you are weak.
Instead, invoke the valour in you. Take a pledge. You have all the force available for you when you need it. You have all the strength and energy.
If someone were to tell you that if you do pranayama for thirty days you would get one million dollars, you will not miss a single day. You may forgo sleep and food but not the pranayama. Greed can bring in that power within. Similarly fear: if someone says you would fall sick if you don’t do pranayama, you would not miss it. Love, fear and greed are good to increase willpower.

The Million Dollar Question

Let’s say someone tells you that you will get 10 million dollars or 10 million euros if you don’t smoke for one month or 30 days. You will say, “Why only 30 days? Some months are 30, some are 31 while February has fewer days. To be sure that I will get the money, I will not smoke for 35 days.”

Someone with neither ego nor love, devotion or greed will have little willpower.

– Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

When you value something more than the habit and you know you will get it, the habit will drop off. Promiscuity has reduced to a great extent because of the fear of AIDS. Similarly, commitment to a higher cause can help you get over small little attractions.
Just knowing intellectually what is good and should be done may make you take it easily. You may choose to remain in your comfort zone then. Then willpower goes down. Enhance your valour or love something with all your heart. Dedication to a cause, fear or greed can increase your willpower.
Egoistic people have a sense of valour. It is easy to make them commit, get out of lethargy. People with no ego have a lot of love and surrender. It’s easy for them to develop willpower. Someone with neither ego nor love, devotion or greed will have little willpower.
Either become greedy or fearful. Or enhance your love and surrender. With true knowledge, you can enhance valour.

When Lethargy can Wait

It’s lethargy that makes you feel you don’t have will power. Let’s say you decide that tomorrow you will wake up at 6am and do your pranayama. But in the morning you tell yourself, “Oh, it’s so cold. I will do it tomorrow or tonight.” This happens because your system is tired, your mind is tired, and you eat the wrong things. This reaches a point when you feel fed up and jump out of the bed to do something about it.
One day, you are going to be fed up being lazy. Someone will say there’s a fire and your laziness will vanish. Urgency takes away your laziness. Or some knot gets opened in your heart. Love comes welling up inside of you then laziness disappears. You become passionate about something or somebody and you suddenly feel awakened, energetic.
Through love, fear or greed you can overcome laziness. If any of these is lacking, you procrastinate. If you keep procrastinating, fear comes at some time. Then out of fear you will start functioning.
Love is a better way to get rid of procrastination. Let’s say you have promised your brother or your niece that you will pick them up from the airport early in the morning. You may feel lazy in the morning but you will get up, run and go meet them. You will somehow get the energy.