Hard work, Willpower and Discipline Myths

Why you cannot achieve your dreams just with willpower

Let's talk about the myth of willpower and discipline!

I've been sharing advices on time management for over 10 years now, and I'm the first to cultivate the value of hard work...

And yet, here's the biggest lesson I've learned in recent years:

If you listen to most of the advice on motivation, discipline, the art of "taking things to the next level", you'll notice that the majority of it is about pushing and controlling :

  • Follow increasingly restrictive and complex routines

  • Self-discipline

  • Accumulate ever more information

  • Deprive yourself

  • "Dopamine Detox" "Cut ties" "Disappear" "Monk Mode"

  • Always more!!!

And does all this bring you what you want?

Have you ever had the feeling that your efforts weren't bringing you what you deserved?

When your efforts don't pay off, can you really keep up your enthusiasm?

Is your head often full of thoughts like:

"Am I missing something?" "Am I doing the right thing?

Your willpower gauge is limited every day, and that's not all you can count on...

The harder you push, the greater the chance of it breaking...

Especially in these times of "crisis" when it's essential to preserve your resources!

It's like people who put all their weight back on after a deprivative diet, or who fall into over-control at every level to the point of creating constant frustration that life isn't going their way... To the point of forgetting to live, quite simply!

And yet:

Haven't you had situations where it was fluid? It required little effort, yet the results were beyond your expectations? Did opportunities just fall into your lap?

Here are 5 key principles to stop working hard for nothing and really leverage it (maximum impact with less exhaustion).

I'm not saying it doesn't take effort, willpower and discipline, just that it needs to be well dosed, directed and balanced with these elements...

Direction is more important than speed and intensity:

The greatest tragedy is to put effort into the wrong direction. It can happen, that's okay, but when it ends up adding up to years of not being where you want to be or on the right track, it becomes a waste of time.

Take the time to be clear about where you want to go and your vision...

Leverage your strengths and advantages:

The trouble with all advice is that it's still advice... Even mine, I can't adapt to every profile and context when it comes to sharing more general advice!

Did you take the time to really identify what was good FOR YOU?

What are your strengths? What doesn't require effort and is like a game for you, but work for others?

This is where you can achieve great things with less and less effort...

Keep it simple and light:

Between you and me, I've tested a lot of methods, tools, routines, principles... And I've identified exactly what was good for me in keeping with the previous principle.

Now, I'm focusing on simplicity to cultivate less but better!

Be curious, but after a while, sort it out!

As my Capoeira teacher used to say:

"Don't take everything, sort through what I give you. Play it your way! You have to digest and poop, otherwise you'll become too heavy and won't be able to do anything" (very subtle, but at least we understand).

Don't rely on luck, be prepared:

"Luck is the encounter between preparation and opportunity." This has been repeated by several authors, but I think it comes from Seneca.

The luck factor exists, but if luck is a springboard, it's regularity!

Lucky people have two things in common:

  • They think they're lucky

  • They are persevering

Working hard and intensely is one thing... being consistent is the real key!

Consistency is training...

Work hard vs. train hard:

If you practice regularly every day, even 20 minutes, for several months, there's a good chance you'll become better than 95% of people!

Don't just work for results, work to learn and become better.

Strangely enough, with practice, it will get "easier"!

That's why those who excel make it look so easy...

Get feedback:

You can train hard, but it's essential to have experienced feedback and someone to correct you, to go faster!

Feedback allows you to stop working hard and training hard only, but to do it intelligently!

In sport, a trainer will give you the right exercises and the right program targeted to your goals.

In business, a good mentor who understands your vision will give you the experience, strategies and perspective you don't have.

You can do it yourself, but what does it cost in time?

Whatever the field, someone with experience will save you time and avoid mistakes by targeting and directing you towards the right care/effort.

Don't be left to your own devices, take a step back to help you correct your practice and your trajectory. You still have the power, but you need help to save time - and you know, time is precious!

So :

  1. Go in the right direction (or at least towards what makes sense)

  2. Use your strengths and advantages (abuse them!)

  3. Keep it simple and light

  4. Train us regularly

  5. Take constructive feedback

Best regards,