10 Powerful Ways to Develop Willpower like a Yogi

Photo credit: Dino Reichmuth

Photo credit: Dino Reichmuth

Cultivating willpower and self-control are essential for a joyous and successful life.


Willpower is a strong energy source, that can be exhausted, intensified and conserved. When we learn how to harness willpower, there is not much we cannot achieve. It was Mahatma Gandhi who said “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from indominatable will.” And we all know what he achieved through willpower.

Here is a list of ten ways we can grow and expand our willpower using yogic methods.


1. Pay attention to the world around and remain aware.

Pay attention to everything and everyone around you. Remain aware of all that is taking place. If your mind starts wandering, try your best to bring your awareness back to the present moment. Stop worrying about the past and the future, remember, “The past is history and the future is a mystery."


2. Have conversations with irritating people.

Patiently hear the words of other people, even if you find them boring and irritating. Try to stay calm and converse without making up an excuse to exit the conversation. This will strongly develop willpower, the power of listening, and will help you win the hearts of others.


3. Stop complaining and accept things as they are.

Never complain about a bad situation or a negative atmosphere. Instead, take your mental world of joy and peace wherever you go. Even if there are difficulties stay positive and remain calm. Complaining won’t make time move faster, but it will certainly make you more complacent.


4. Use intelligence to overcome obstacles.

Face and overcome obstacles by appropriate means, applying the intellect peacefully. Never run away from an unfavourable environment, stay in place and maintain composure. Using intelligence and strategy you can turn even the most adverse situation to your advantage.


5. No more gossip, ever.

Give up gossiping in its entirety. Gossiping is worthless and it will help you accomplish nothing. Often, gossip helps people bond, but it is a weak and uncharismatic personality that requires gossip to connect with others. Forget what others are doing and limit your thoughts to being constructive to yourself and to others.


6. Stop overthinking, start wining.

Overthinking is a limitation to the execution of willpower. In fact, overthinking is often a cause of failure, as it brings confusion and doubt. Willpower only succeeds when you think right, and you feel right.


7. Become the eye of the hurricane.

Keep yourself calm and balanced under all conditions. Try not to get carried away under raw sentiments and strong emotions. Even when situations seem to be chaotic, even when there is a crisis, try to remain an observer, like the eye of the hurricane.


8. Forget your failures and let go of your mistakes.

Stop worrying about your failures and mistakes. They served as a lesson at the time, but they now belong to the past and have no place in the present moment. If you keep obsessing about your failures, it will weaken your will. Always say to yourself, “sometimes we win, sometimes we learn”.


9. Sleep like Napoleon.

Don't read or watch anything in bed. When you go to bed, try to empty the mind and firmly but calmly repeat the words “I will have good sleep now”. Let your subconscious mind hear these words and follow them like a command. It is about the quality, not the quantity of sleep.


10. Wake up with a jump.

Keep your alarm clock away from your bed, so you have to get out of bed in the morning to turn it off. Just make sure you don’t go back to bed after you switch it off. Tossing and turning in bed in the mornings will only make you lazy, so stay up and be productive.


Content: Content Inspired by the practices and teachings of Swami Sivananda Saraswati.