Good morning, Believe Nation, today we’re going to talk about how to increase your will power.
Rule number three is my personal favorite and I’d love to know which one you like the best. As always, guys, as you’re watching the clips, if you hear somebody say something that really resonates with you, please leave it in the comments below and put quotes around it so other people can be inspired as well. Also when you write it down, it’s much more likely to stick with yourself too, enjoy.
Michael Angelo’s really a great story on will power and self control. He was beaten severely when he was a young kid by his father, his father wanted him to be, to pursue a more noble profession, a more lucrative profession. And Michael Angelo wanted to be a sculptor. And his father beat him and his father tried to get him off course and Michael Angelo said no. I want to be a sculptor and finally through his grit and perseverance and unrelenting-ness, Michael Angelo’s father said, ya know what, okay, fine, you’re 14 years old, I’m going to allow you to go to apprentice with a Florentine Master and he will help you become a sculptor.
And Michael Angelo moved to Florence and he started to study. And he started to practice and again, this is a story of self discipline and world class will power. And through his mastery and through his practice and through his suffering and through his persistence and through his focus, all of these great lost traits that are no longer celebrated in this world where all too often, people are card carrying members of the Cult of Mediocrity.
Through this practice, through this devotion, he became well known, he became known far and wide. He created the beautiful sculptor David. If you go to Museum of Academia in Florence, you’ll see David, you’ll see some of his other masterpieces. And part of that whole region started to honor the way that Michael Angelo was appearing and performing as a sculptor. Because of his mastery, a lot of the other artists like Raphael and the Renaissance Patriots became, they became jealous and so they devised a very elaborate and interesting plan to discredit and to ridicule Michael Angelo.
And Michael Angelo’s peers went to the Pope who what Julis II and they said to the Pope, why don’t you get Michael Angelo to paint the Sistine Chapel? And the Pope said sounds good. And so the Pope went over the Michael Angelo and said, I want you to restore the greatness of Rome. And the greatness of Rome is now on your shoulders because I want you to pain the Sistine Chapel. And I want you to make it a masterpiece that holds the world in awe when they see it.
“Genius is much less about natural talent and much more about practice, persistence, focus, grit, dealing with suffering, dealing with failure, dealing with laughter while the rest of the world thinks you should stop, genius is much more about continuing, practice, developing your craft.” – Robin Sharma
And Michael Angelo replied to the Pope. He said, ya know, I’m not a painter. And I’ve never painted, I’m a sculptor. But Julius the II was very persistent and eventually Michael Angelo said fine, I’m going to agree and over four years, four hard years, four years that took incredible self control, incredible grit, we’re going to talk about grit in this webinar, incredible focus, incredible discipline. Michael Angelo created the Sistine Chapel.
Now let’s put this into perspective. I mean, Michael Angelo had never painted Fresco before. Michael Angelo had to paint something on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel that people standing many feet below could look up at and see with great detail. Michael Angelo dealt with the fact that the painting on the Sistine Chapel was moldy. There were paint issues, he had to deal with the fact that the Pope was very ill and he thought he might not get paid.
He actually developed this incredible elaborate system of scaffolding which allowed him to back backwards for four years on the Sistine Chapel and he damaged his back in the process but he did it for the art. He did it for the discipline, he did it for what it made of him, he did it for his commitment because the great artists and the great performers are much less about ego and applause and money and they do their work for what it makes of them as human beings.
And after four years, Michael Angelo’s eyesight was so damaged from looking at the images on the Sistine Chapel that he suffered permanent eye damage. But like I said, once he was finished, the world was awe struck at what he created. And now 20 million people a year go to the Vatican and they do experience this breath taking work of artistry and human ingenuity constructed by an ordinary man who exercised world class will power named Michael Angelo.
And so ladies and gentlemen, I guess what I’m suggesting to you is one of the fundamental points. The myth of the talented genius, the myth of the gifted genius is nothing more than a lie society has sold you. I don’t know if I expressed that clearly but what I’m trying to suggest to you is the world says, the Michael Angelo’s and the Beckham’s and the Jay Z’s and the, the great entrepreneurs, the Carlos Slim’s, the Warren Buffet’s, the Jack Dorsey’s, you know, the founder of Twitter, the Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, the Mozart’s and the Picasso’s and the Bach’s, society teaches us and trains us that these people are somehow born with special talents and what I’m here to remind you, a deep respect for all 25,000 or 24,922 on this webinar from around the world is that is a lie that society has sold us to keep us small.
And if you look at the science and science coming out right now is indisputable, we’re going to get into that science. But what science says is genius is much less about your genetics and much more about your self control and your discipline. Genius is much less about natural talent and much more about practice, persistence, focus, grit, dealing with suffering, dealing with failure, dealing with laughter while the rest of the world thinks you should stop, genius is much more about continuing, practice, developing your craft.
The first idea is to emotionally engage with that dream each morning of your life. See, a lot of people don’t actually struggle with the discipline part in terms of the doing the thing. It’s that they’re not getting revved up to do the thing. In other words, we got a problem with motivation, not necessarily just discipline. We have a problem with, that once in a while, you hit it, you do it, you do the work.
But a lot of times you fall off because you’re not emotionally engaged in it. It’s like, if you want a lot of discipline, you need a high level of emotional connection and focus on that thing that you want to work towards. So every morning, what I want you to do is just start a new visualization practice. When you wake up in the morning, close your eyes, think about the dream, the aspiration, the thing that you’re really after in life and just visualize it.
“If your heart is disengaged, it’s difficult to stay disciplined” – Brendon Burchard
And it really gets yourself emotionally attached, emotionally engaged with it. Think about how great it will feel for you to have that thing or be that thing or contribute that thing, to make that difference, just think about it. Allow it to well up in your heart a little bit.
Get excited about it, remember the dream. That’s why we get away from discipline because we’re so busy with the chaos of the world that we emotionally are no longer attached in a way that our brain says, hey, man, focus on this. It’s important to you, remember?
So if your heart is disengaged, it’s difficult to stay disciplined so every morning make it a practice to actually just imagine the pay off, the benefit, the contribution, the art, the thing that you do and are doing and do contribute. If you can do that more often, you’ll be more fired up and you’ll stay back on track.
Set Up Rules
Number two, set up hard and fast rules in your life, rules that cannot be violated. ‘Cause from a willpower perspective, it is very draining again, to go back and forth in your head. So it’s much easier to say, okay, I will not drink soda and I’ll only eat foods off of this list than it is for you to go okay, I ate really good yesterday and I worked out extra hard, now I’m at dinner.
And they just gave me a free dessert, is it okay for me to have a small portion? ‘Cause that takes a lot of mental energy to process. When you set up hard and fast rules, as draconian as this might feel and sound at first, it actually creates a tremendous amount of freedom in your own life to spend your brain power on the things that matter the most.
“Set up hard and fast rules in your life, rules that cannot be violated.” – Charlie Houpert
So set up rules, you must work between these hours. You need to go to the gym five days a week. For me, I set up a rule, I have to release one YouTube video every single Monday and that’s why I am here right now so set up rules.
Find Your “Why”
What’s your why, hey, if I don’t give ya’ll nothin’ else, you better start that, what’s your why? You know I do what I do and I do it so passionately. ‘Cause my grandfather was a high school dropout. My father was a high school dropout. I was a high school dropout and we about to break the cycle.
I do what I do so my son won’t have to go through what I went through. When I was at the football game, my old dude wasn’t with me. I saw other kids with their father, I said that’ll never happen to me, I do what I do because my daughter says she goin’ to Harvard.
“If I don’t give ya’ll nothin’ else, you better start that, what’s your why?” – Eric Thomas
It ain’t even about ya’ll, I’m about to here and blade ya’ll, why? Because I’m tryin’ to get ya all in the NFL. I ain’t about to miss this opportunity. This is the first NFL team I’ve ever done in my life and I’m about to lick it, I’m about to give it everything I got and I will know if I don’t get another gig, it won’t have nothin’ to do with the fact that I didn’t put everything on the field. What’s your why, why do you wake up in the morning? Why do you put on the jersey, why do you go out and practice, why?
Do The Hardest Task First
Your hardest tasks, you should set for the morning. In the morning, you typically have the highest will power. Your brain is refreshed, glucose stores are pretty good even though you’ve been fasting overnight. You’re refreshed, you’re ready to go. You’re more likely to make smart decisions because you can think, you have clarity.
“Your hardest tasks, you should set for the morning.” – Alexander Heyne
You’re not exhausted by the day yet. So whatever is hard for you, whether that’s exercise, some new thing you’re trying to do, try to do it before your day, before the long day which is why most successful people in history have some kind of smart morning routine so they wake up, they do the most important task first while they’re fresh and then do the rest of the stuff throughout the day or at the end of the day when they’re more tired.
Help Your Future Self Out
Narrator: Before you start to seriously build your self discipline, the first thing you’re going to do is learn how to make it easier on your future self to complete a task. Think of it as stretching before a run. Take out your WellCast Journal and write down a task that you regularly put off. Let’s say there’s a big pile of dishes that greets you every day after work.
And instead of cleaning them right up, you bow to the temptation of collapsing on your couch and leave them until the next morning when you tell yourself, you have time to take care of them. So help your future self out, write down two things that you’re going to do to make it easier for you to complete the task the next day. Stack the dishes neatly in the sink or scrape the food off any especially dirty plates before turning in. And that brings us to Workout Two.
“Before you start to seriously build your self discipline, the first thing you’re going to do is learn how to make it easier on your future self to complete a task.”
Now that you’ve started stretching your muscles, let’s try a conditioning exercise. Okay, now the same scenario greets you when you return home from work, you’re tired. It’s been a long day and the dirty mountain of dishes is sitting in your sink. This time, figure out a way to break the activity into segments.
Take out your WellCast Journal and write down a week’s plan for how you’re going to tackle this task gradually. For example, the first night, do five dishes. The second night, do seven, slowly increase how many you do. Your discipline will slowly build as well. Like any exercise, building up your will power will take time and effort but you keep at it, you’ll see results.
If you want to increase your willpower, you need to remember your why, remember the big game that you are trying to play. And for me, this is something that I need to do daily. I find that no matter how great a day, it’s video day. It’s filming day for me, I’m pumped, I’m excited. I leave here feeling amazed and energized.
No matter how great a day I had, the next day I start from scratch, the next day I’m starting over. The next day I need to build myself up again as part of my morning routine and ritual to remind myself to push harder, to do more, to not stop, to not rest, to not stay in my comfort zone.
It’s a daily battle and a daily grind and I think having that morning routine becomes so so so so important to help you remember you why. I think you can only force yourself to do something for so long before you quit. If you don’t like the work that you’re doing, if you’re not genuinely excited about the work that you’re going to do today, that can only last for so long.
“If you want to increase your willpower, you need to remember your why” – Evan Carmichael
You can only increase you will power to do something that you don’t want to do for so long before you quit and realize, this isn’t for me. I got to move on and do something else. But it’s for the things that we do want to do. It’s for the big dreams that we have that sometimes we don’t end up believing in anymore. We have a down day, we don’t have that big boldness or that motivation all the time. Structuring into your daily routine, the why.
Why’s it’s so important to you, why you’re going to hold yourself back, where you know you’re going to fall down. For me, especially, when my schedule’s thrown off, that’s where I start to fall down. I’m a pretty scheduled person and I have different things on different days and it really, really, really works well for me, the system, the schedule works amazingly well for me but on days when there’s interruptions, it’s hard for me to get back on the schedule for the rest of that day.
The next day starts, new schedule, great to go. But if I fall off in the middle of one day, it’s really hard for me to catch back up and so it’s either, I design my schedule so that I don’t have interruptions which I’ve done for the most part. But there’s still going to be those five to 10% of days where something random, mysterious happens that you have to adjust and deal with. And the second way to do it, that I’ve been working on is having a trigger to get you back on schedule, having a trigger to get you back into the zone of where you want to be and so what I do is I start my day with saying a few lines to myself.
“You can only increase you will power to do something that you don’t want to do for so long before you quit and realize, this isn’t for me.” – Evan Carmichael
I’ll say this three times and if I can’t start my day with it because there’s been some kind of interruption, then as soon as I’m ready to start working again, as soon as I need that extra little jolt, as soon as I need to remember my why and the push and the drive, then I read it again, ya know what, let me read it for you. I’m going to pull it out, this is what I read.
This is how I start my day and if I fall off track, I get back to this, I read this three times. Today I will push myself to be my absolute best, to believe more, care more and try harder. I vow not to let distractions, schedule changes or fear prevent me from being great. I will make every minute count because my time is running out. I have the ability to change the world and it’s my responsibility to do so. If you want to increase your will power, remember you why.
So thank you guys so much for watching. I made this video because Abilash asked me to. So if there’s a topic you’d like me to cover on the next edition of Believe Life, leave it down in the comments below and I’ll see what I can do. I’d also love to know, what did you take from this video? What did you learn the most, what are you going to do in your life or your business to increase your will power, did I miss something here that you want to share, leave it down in the comments below.
I love to hear from you, finally, I wanted to give a quick shout out to 2000 Books. Thank you so much for picking up a copy of my book, Your One Word and posting that awesome picture of you outside with it, I really hope you enjoy the beautiful weather, as well as the book. Thank you so much for your support. So thank you guys so much for watching. I believe in you, I hope you continue to believe in yourself and whatever Your One Word is. Much love, have an amazing day and I’ll see you soon.
I think it’s your natural responsibility to be great. And I think for you not to do whatever it takes to learn how to run your mind like a superstar and to make this your absolute best year yet, I think for you not to invest in becoming the person you know you’re meant to be, I think for you to play small with your life, for you to go to work and coast, for you not to do things that are difficult, for you not to lean into your fear, for you not to read, for you not invest in your learning, for you not to populate your life with people who are better thinkers than you, is being out of integrity.
And I think it’s being out of integrity to you, to your family and to the world. And really, and I know mostly we don’t talk about high performance and peak potential in terms of integrity but you have a personal obligation as do I, to be the best human being and to express the gifts and the talents you were born with.
“It’s your natural responsibility to be great.” – Robin Sharma
And if you don’t do that because you’ve fallen into mediocrity or because you’ve bought a bill of goods that the world has sold you, that you’re average, that you’re average, that you’re ordinary, that the Beckham’s and the Jay Z’s and the Mandella’s are somehow different from you, well, that’s just not true.
And you are breaching your own integrity and your own responsibility and if I do the same thing, I’m equally responsible because the world is less of a place and your family is less happy because you’re not living at your best. And related to that, will power and expressing your potential and playing a genius and creating a life that’s legendary is actually the secret to happiness. I went for a little walk before the webinar and I thought to myself, ya know, full expression of your will power is really how you express your genius and how you express the genius you were born into.
“If you look at the best of the best, they are the best of the best in full passion in excellence and exuberance because they stretch.” – Robin Sharma
But it’s also the secret to happiness. I mean, we watch Breaking Bad or we drink too much or we gossip too much or we spend too much time on the internet and we think we’re doing that to keep us happy and you’ve read my books and you’ve followed me so you know I believe that victims love entertainment, leaders love education. Ordinary people love leisure and extraordinary people invest in their learning. I mean, I looked at the best of the best.
I look at the billionaires that I’ve coached, NBA players who follow my work, Taylor Swift reads my books. FC Barcelona reads The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. John Bon Jovi read The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and I say that simply to share with you. If you look at the best of the best, they are the best of the best in full passion in excellence and exuberance because they stretch. Because they want to be the best and let’s go to the science.
Every time you do something uncomfortable, every single time you exercise self control and will power, you release a neuro transmitter called dopamine. Dopamine is the secret to happiness. Dopamine is the neuro transmitter of motivation. And it doesn’t happen playing Grand Theft Auto Live. It’s doesn’t happen gossiping at the water cooler. It doesn’t happen being addicted to distraction. Dopamine is released when you do difficult things, when you are focused, when you achieve a small win and you say yeah, I did it.