The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.
Motivation and will power fascinate me. Maybe because I didn’t have much of either when I was young and then they each blossomed.
Illness in my late 20’s was transformational for me. My gut response to devastating disease shaped how I responded to events from that time on. From that dark place — in which I saw parts of me I didn’t know existed — I was able to create intention. It was an easy route to find motivation, direction and will power I didn’t know I had.
Webster’ s defines motivation as ‘incentive or drive’ . It defines willpower as energetic determination. In a recent The Boston Globe article, Goal Oriented, Deborah Kotz explored new research on willpower.
“The reason for all this interest? Willpower, it turns out, is one of the most important predictors of success in life.”
Among other things, the article notes that research shows that those who scored highest on self control at age 3 were far more likely to be healthy and financially successful adults. No way would I have scored high on self control at age 3 — or even 15 (not I who always read the end first and snatched the frosting from the all cupcakes in spite of my brother’s wrath!). It wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that any hint of who I would become started to emerge.
But I don’t think I’m typical. I’ve noticed in my coaching practice that those with a track record of success do better at marshaling the motivation and willpower they need to face the challenges of chronic illness. Even if resilience and hope falters, they’ve already developed the muscle memory.
So, what’s it been like for you? Do you “hide under the covers” and collapse when the going gets tough? Or is there some part of you, some voice, that always pulls you up to face the day?
How do you face tough times, difficult situations, your unhealthy body? Do you think you always had the tools to ‘push through’?
FYI – The header comes from this quote: They can because they think they can. Virgil
QUERY: HR Directors – We’ve got a grant to study the effects of a coaching intervention on people working who live with chronic illness. Employees who participate would receive coaching services at no fee. We ask nothing from a partner organization other than to communicate our message about this study to their employees. Are you an HR Director or work within organization that you think would be interested in ‘partnering’ with us? For more information: Alyssa.McGonagle@Wayne.edu