New On Return of Kings: An Introduction to Willpower Training

My new article on Return of Kings deals with willpower, and how it can be trained—for it is much more of a muscle than it is a virtue.

Willpower. It’s long been alleged that it’s something that you either have, or you don’t: a few blessed individuals are born with steely determination and indomitable spirits, while the rest of the unwashed masses are willowy, wishy-washy reeds in the wind who will break under the slightest prevarication!

Both of these theses are absolutely wrong. I’ve said it many times before, and I will undoubtedly say it again: when it comes to physical training, you can train a hell of a lot more than just your skeletal muscles. And as you could probably figure out, I believe willpower to be one of those attributes that can be trained.

The overall idea I will be conveying to you today is that willpower is, for all intents and purposes, a non-physical “muscle” that can be trained, just as the muscles of your legs and arms can be trained. And much like those corporeal muscles, willpower can be “depleted”—i.e., you can be made to be less willing to do difficult things and endure pain over the course of the day.

People in the past understood that this was something to be trained, but for whatever reason this knowledge was forgotten over time. Some (Such as the Art of Manliness) believe that the rise of consumer culture and the whole “follow your bliss” ideal created a culture of people that “go with the flow” and feel that the very act of doing something you don’t want to do is “fascist”. Whether that is the case or not, one does have to acknowledge that people just seem a lot “flimsier” today.

So now that we have already established that willpower is a “muscle” that can be trained, the overarching question is: what exercises can be done to train the willpower?

You can read the article here