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You (yes, you) have incredible willpower; Getting rid of excuses.

Monday, July 16, 2007 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


Today’s update is something that’s been percolating in my mind for about a week now. This update is for those of you who always seem to be struggling to reach your goals. I see a lot of you hiding behind excuses and playing the “victim card” when you email me. I’m not attacking anyone, and I’m certainly not mad, but it’s time we shake things up a bit. It’s my hope that today’s article will get some of you thinking about the real reasons behind why you can’t seem to stay focused long enough to reach your goals. I don’t buy into excuses, and neither should you.

One of the most frequent sentiments written in emails and PMs to me goes something like this: “John, I sure wish I had your willpower!”

It’s true, I posses a strong will and I’ve used that to my advantage. I guess I always figured my so-called “willpower” was just a personality trait that I was lucky enough to have been blessed with. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about this subject: is willpower really something that some people inherently lack? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the answer is NO. Citing “lack of willpower” is nothing more than an excuse for failure. I believe that 99.9% of us possess incredible willpower, and I am going to prove it to you right now.

Let’s say your goal is to lose 25 pounds of fat over the next three months. That’s a reasonable goal, and it can be reached with hard work and proper diet. Many people will start off well, see some results and then fail: “I just don’t have the willpower to stay dedicated for three months!”

Sorry, but that’s pure BS.

Let’s try it another way. I’m an eccentric millionaire, and I want to perform an experiment. I’m going to pay you 20 million dollars, and all you have to do is go three months without missing a workout or going off your planned diet. Could you do it? That’s a stupid question, isn’t it? We all know there’s not a single person reading this who would not be willing and able to reach that goal for 20 million dollars.

Wow, suddenly everyone seems to have found incredible willpower! Where did it come from? The answer is, of course, you already had it. You’ve always had it. Now that we’ve stripped away the “willpower” excuse, what’s left? It’s a question of desire. You either want it or you don’t. If you fail, then it’s because you didn’t want it badly enough to work for it.

I think boiling away excuses is a critical component of success. When you sugarcoat a failure with an excuse, you’re simply shifting the blame away from yourself and priming the pump for yet another failure. Take responsibility for your failures, learn from them and then move forward.

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