How to Reach Your Dreams through Willpower

Posted on May 3, 2010 in motivation by
30 Comments

I think I finally understand this quote by Marianne Williamson:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate – our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

When I discovered my guest post on Mike King’s blog, Learnthis.ca, received over 1,000 hits on StumbleUpon on the day of its publication, I was ecstatic. I felt the usual celebratory emotions that come with reaching any milestone: happiness, excitement, and surprise, to name a few.

But what I couldn’t quite understand was this other emotion I could feel coming from within me. It was like there was a fear inside me.

It seemed to say, “Was this power really inside me all this time?”

The short answer: yes

We all have the power to make our dreams real. And I mean ANY dreams real. Think about it. If you truly believe you will fail, then you have no doubt that you will. Every day of your life will be spent succumbing to the detrimental idea of reality you have created for yourself.

Soon, every instance of temporary failure you encounter will only solidify the dream you’ve made in your mind and will eventually come through in your actions.

Now, think about when you truly believe you will succeed. Remember that similarly, if you believe it, you will be more likely to follow the actions leading to your inevitable success, thus resulting in making your success real.

Change the way you perceive reality

Your reality is not set in stone. Although everyone will try and tell you how life will end up for you if you pursue your own dreams, you can rest assured that they are not 100% sure themselves.

They cannot tell you how your reality will end up because all they really know is their own reality.

When you confront other people’s “regular reality” with your idea of a remarkable one, they will criticize it because they do not understand it. People, in general, are naturally following skeptics. In other words, they are skeptical of what other people think is skeptical, rarely drawing from their own observations.

You can end this right now

Are you ready to bring about your own reality? For those of you who wish to continue on the conventional path, thank you. You are the ones that challenge the rest of us to make our dreams real.

And with these tips, you most certainly will:

Speak of your goals only once


This is a bit of an odd technique to start with, but trust me, it works. I got this idea from Derek Sivers, who says that announcing your plans makes you less motivated to accomplish them. That’s why we constantly hear of people who talk constantly of change and achieving their dreams, but ultimately fail at actually carry them out.

I suggest speaking of your intentions only once, just so people around you know your intentions, and then stop talking about them completely. Believe it or not, keeping your mouth shut will increase the actions you take towards your goals.

Instead of telling them, SHOW them.

Do not be afraid of your willpower

Our willpower is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. Our will is what made man go to the moon. Will is what’s going to create the cure for cancer. Will is what made everything we have at our fingertips possible.

Humankind as a whole isn’t afraid of their willpower: don’t be afraid of yours. Realize that the power to get what you want is entirely within your control. You and you alone, are the master of your domain.

Realize that only willpower is not enough

Think of the way we use power in life. Electricity is utterly useless to us when if we let it remain in the atmosphere, but if we harness it, many things become possible. All we have to do is use electricity to power a microwave and we can reheat into our food.

This is the same way you should be thinking about willpower. Will unharnessed is energy put to waste. Use this fuel to power your actions and mover ever closer to the actualization of your dreams.

Do not stop short of the finish line

A common problem we have is stopping short right before we actually get to the end. This tends to happen when we become too frustrated to keep going, giving up before we’ve reached our true potential. I know that you sometimes feel that you’re trying crack a rock with a slipper when pursuing your dreams, but you have to understand something:

Everything worth anything takes effort. And this effort must be present all the way until the end.

With willpower, the wind is at your back

The potential that lies inside each of us is more powerful than many of us will ever know. Most of the world will still stand together as skeptics, forever questioning their will.

But in the end, the few who question their very skepticism are the ones who will be able to decide their own destiny.

About the author: John Anyasor is the creator of HiLife2B. There he gives advice on personal development, inspiration, and motivation. A second year undergrad, he seeks to one day break the cycle of entering the dreaded 9-5 by achieving the life he wants and helping others at the same time. Follow him on Twitter.

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30 Responses to How to Reach Your Dreams through Willpower

  • Great post, it’s all on ourselves!

    Best wishes from Brazil.

    Go for your dreams!

  • > Instead of telling them, SHOW them.
    That right there is everything. Lead by example is the inner-warrior way.
    .-= J.D. Meier´s last blog ..Lessons Learned from Steve Pavlina =-.

  • Absolutely fantastic article, I shared it every where, thank you!
    .-= The Dame´s last blog ..Volunteering with apes in Thailand – that’s me! =-.

  • Really resonating with this article Dragos. I’ve just been trying to manifest some money and can feel that I’m there now. It’s a strange feeling at first but you get used to it.
    .-= Richard | RichardShelmerdine.com´s last blog ..12 Mini Habits For Smoother Days =-.

  • I love Marianne’s quote and I find truth in everything that woman says! Nice article and yes I do believe my fear is of my own power. So that’s why I let it go…yesterday;)

  • There’s much that inspired me in this article, yet I have trouble with the idea of such emphasis on “willpower.” In my mind, it’s a very yang or forceful or masculine concept and I feel that it needs to always be balanced by yin or receptivity or our feminine side. A practitioner of Chinese Medicine once told me that operating by willpower alone exhausts your kidney element. Will always has the feeling of pushing instead of flowing to me. Sometimes pushing is necessary, but it’s not always helpful and I question it as a dominant style of being for me.

    Maybe this is just a question of semantics. :-) I agree, we all have this magical power within in and I appreciate you bringing this to our attention. May we all find the most balanced way to allow it to flow.
    .-= Sandra Lee´s last blog ..April highlights =-.

  • Dragos, I have quoted this statement from Paulo Coelho (one of my least favorite authors) and his book “The Zahir”, and for just that statement it was worth the read: Coelho tells us that sometimes, the one thing that prevents our amazing success in life is the fear of our true potential. We fear how fabulously successful and accomplished we can become, and that fear paralyzes us from reaching our true potential and realizing our own dreams.
    Reading your beautiful post reminded me of that, and I agree with you completely!

  • Thanks for the compliments, Farnoosh. Sometimes its difficult to comprehend how much power we have, but once we come to grips with that fact, it allows us to actually reach our dreams.

    This paralyzing fear must come to an end. Thanks for your comment and share this with whoever you think needs it.
    .-= John´s last blog ..How to Reclaim Your Childlike Confidence =-.

  • Hey John, I really connected with what you were saying here. I also read a study showing that we don’t have an infinite amount of willpower and that it is a valuable resource. That’s why we should create good habits in our lives so they become an unconscious habit and we don’t have to expend any will power resources.

    Great Stuff John
    .-= Steven Aitchison´s last blog ..Is The Lefkoe Belief Process a Fraud =-.

    • Steven! Great to hear from you again.

      I too think that willpower is a resource– you can only give so much before you have to mentally replenish for the next round of attempting to reach your dreams.

      Don’t waste willpower on trivial things, but use it on the things most advantageous.

      Thanks for sharing and commenting on my guest post here on Dragos’ great blog.

      And thank you, Dragos, for allowing me to guest post!
      .-= John´s last blog ..The Pretty Lies We Tell Ourselves Debunked =-.

  • Hi John,

    That Marianne Williamson quote is so deep and so true.

    I’ve often found myself being very driven to achieve a goal and at the same time having feelings of resistance towards achieving it!

    Fortunately, I’ve gotten to the point where I am addressing the issue by asking myself, “So what do you fear about achieving this?” And, of course, there is no good reason for feeling this way. By exposing and addressing these fears, we can start to really tap into the extraordinary potential that you discussed.

    Thanks for the post!
    .-= Greg Blencoe´s last blog ..My personal 30-day money challenge starts next Monday on May 10th =-.

    • Just asked myself that this morning — What is there to fear? I considered taking action on another goal I have (besides making my blog extremely value) when I was struck with fear. I’ve now assessed the highs and lows, and have decided to go at it without holding back.

      I’m glad we’ve gotten over our fear of ourselves. You’re welcome for the post, Greg.
      .-= John´s last blog ..Minimalist Lifestyle Update: The Steps Taken Thus Far =-.

  • John -

    That is my favourite quote and it motivates me every day to go and achieve. We do have an amazing resource of willpower inside us and it is realized not through words, but action. I’m learning to just get on with making my vision a reality and finding that flinty determined block inside me that we all have. We all have the potential to be immensely powerful if we unleash our willpower. Thanks for sharing – great post.

    Phil
    .-= Phil – Less Ordinary Living´s last blog ..15 Secrets to Thriving in the 21st Century Workplace –Part 1 =-.

    • Thanks Phil! I’m glad to hear that your will is as sharp as ever. There are days when I feel that my will may not be good enough, and there are days when I feel that my willpower is just right.

      On both days, I press on.

      I may shrug or be annoyed, but I keep going. Because if I don’t go for it (reach for the stars) who will?

      You’re welcome for the post.
      .-= John´s last blog ..Minimalist Lifestyle Update: The Steps Taken Thus Far =-.

  • John,

    Your guest article here, had a personally resonated with me, as I too sometimes am scared of “power within” or “being successful”. I used to make so much money, I was guilty with family members who were not. Now I am at home, and those feelings are gone :-) I am working on finding a harmony still.

    Dragos,
    I like your blog and posts, first time posting a comment here.

  • Hey Zengirl,

    You should never feel guilty for reaching your potential. You are doing your best and be happy for it. Not say you should boast in front of your family members, but do not feel bad if you are doing better. You’ve earned the right to be happy…so be happy.

    I’m glad things are working out for you and hope to be in your position soon enough.
    .-= John´s last blog ..Minimalist Lifestyle Update: The Steps Taken Thus Far =-.

  • Good post but its one of those topics that are so hard to translate. I saw that article from Derek Sivers before and its definitely worth checking out. There are 2 approaches to goals and not announcing them is one method. But the other, which works for some no doubt, is to tell others and use this as an accountability factor.

    So for some it may work, for others another method can work.
    .-= Robin Alley´s last blog ..Interesting Question to Ask – Create Your Future =-.

  • Dear John,
    This is indeed all true. I have always believed in my dreams, that they were to come into realization because this is what was to happen and indeed they have come true.
    Our light is indeed powerful beyond our own potential in the amount we can do, and what we can create and it is this that ignites us into living and into our dreams.
    I think that alternative routes are just as of equal value as dreams, as they have a similiar energy in rotation of existence, and that what counts is how we choose to express ourselfs through that reality and what we can take from it. :)
    Great blog!
    .-= Ana Goncalves´s last blog ..Surrending truth =-.

  • We are afraid of the power inside of us, i think it takes time for us to begin to trust ourselves and the results of our actions. Often we are afraid of success and the new responsibilities it brings with it. Then we realise that we have the capacity to deal with them. Insightful post that made me think. Thanks a Lot!

  • Dairen De Palma says: September 3, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    I have big dreams and was afraid and hesistant tio reach them. But, with these uplifting thoughts, I am certainly encouraged to stand tall and pursue to reach the star! Thank you much for sharing your ideas!More power to you all.

  • yes thats true
    i am inspired of wat youve gave

  • May06 Absolutely agree with what you reported. Your exnopaatiln was by far the easiest to comprehend. I tell you, I usually get annoyed when folks discuss issues that they clearly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail right on the head and rolled out everything without complication. Hopefully, other people can take a cue. Will be back for additional. Keep writing

  • May19 How often I wind up reading dull and ploory written online commentary. This article was a refreshing change from all that. You make great points and present them in an interesting way. It’s just smashing.

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