"Willpower is the strength of mind to carry out one's goals." --Sandy Anderson
Do you need willpower?
Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps it depends on what you want and how determined you already are to get it.
Is willpower useful?
Definitely. If your goal is difficult and you want to avoid distraction or getting sidetracked, then yes, willpower is important, if not essential.
Can you acquire it?
Ah, now, there's the crux of the matter. I don't believe willpower has to be learned, or created. I believe we have it all along.
It may be dormant or, like a seldom-used muscle, somewhat weak and ineffective. But you can revive and strengthen it.
I recently read an article in which willpower was compared to electricity. We can't access the power supply until we plug something in and flip a switch.
Willpower is the same But you need to do more than switch it on to enable it to reach its maximum potential. You need to make an effort to develop its effectiveness.
Just as you can learn ways to boost your morale and energy and motivation, so too can you find ways to enhance your willpower.
If you've scheduled a twenty-minute walk in the evening, your willpower alone can't combat 'I won't bother today; I don't feel like it.' Get up, put on your workout clothes, or coat, or athletic shoes, and go to the actual location - gym, home treadmill, outside - where the activity would take place.
If you still can't bring your willpower to bear to take the walk, then try again the next day, going through the exact same steps, up to the point of departure. Eventually, you'll tire of avoiding a walk at that very point where you've made it possible, and your willpower will say 'Enough of this. Just get on with it.'
When smokers quit, they don't buy packs of cigarettes and keep them at hand. They get rid of ashtrays, try to avoid designated smoking areas, and shy away from diehard smokers.
Same thing goes for dieting. Don't set yourself up to fail. If you want to strengthen your willpower, don't go to the local bakery and buy doughnuts to 'test' your resolve. Instead, get rid of the unhealthy foods you might have around the house. (If you don't want to throw them out, give them to friends, take them in to the office, or just let them run out and stop stocking them.)
Help your willpower along by giving it the best possible chance to succeed. Like playing a musical instrument, the more you practice, the better it will work for you.
"Willingness is essential in making any dream come true. 'I can't' often means 'I won't.' You can change 'I won't' to 'I will' with WILLpower." --Marcia Wieder