Willpower won’t get you anywhere
Few years ago, I held on to the slogan that says “When there is a will, there is a way”. I improved academically from the fourth from behind to the top five students in class within a term, from 0% in Mathematics to 100% in three consecutive tests, and even in Further Mathematics. The same willpower got me to start blogging in 2008 with my first post A good programmer , willpower propelled me to read my first set of books(Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Magic of Thinking Big, The Power of Plus Factor, The Power of Positive Thinking, and Richest Man in Babylon) when I was 13. One would also say that my willpower strategy attributed to my sound background in .NET and the release of a few software program in my early days.
“Believe you can, and you will” worked for me almost all the time until about 2 years ago when I realized that I struggled to get anything done, so much so that reading books didn’t excite me anymore. I would accept to work on a project but almost never deliver or not deliver up to expectation. I tried all the tricks and strategy to stay focused and to achieve set goals but I always ended up being depressed. The willpower to do stuff was there but somehow I lost the skill to execute. Being a result-oriented person, I wasn’t satisfied with my condition at that time, so I decided to unplug.
Unplugging is disconnecting yourself from your environment, from what you know and from social media. Some call it Retreat. Every individual and organization that must grow needs the unplug moment, you must be ready to unplug for growth to occur. Better ways of doing things spring forth during this exercise. To some it brings a new vision to run with, to another it reveals a better way of winning.
What changed? What makes a software application work properly even when the codes are well written? Environment!
Environment is the new willpower. Even when we have the willpower to do or not to do, our decisions are influenced by the nature of our environment. In Information Technology, environment are the conditions and atmosphere that makes our applications work as expected. A Java or .Net application needs the right environment to function properly to its optimal level no matter how well the software was written, likewise humans, we need the right environment to function properly to our optimal level.
Are you rightly positioned in an environment where you can achieve whatever goal you have set for yourself? No one can achieve anything in isolation. We need to consciously build that enabling environment for growth. Environment is not only limited to space or location, sometimes, it’s the kind of people we associate with, sometimes it’s the tidiness of our desk at work/home , sometimes it’s who our mentors are and sometimes its our mindset.
If you ensure to put yourself in an environment or condition that tailors towards achieving your set goals, you won’t have to worry about willpower. Your environment will enable you to achieve your goals without you noticing.