How to Gain More Willpower

Will power: the power of our will to enact change which we desire to see in reality / the power to create things we desire to create! #entrepeneurship


selfie flash mirror green Ricoh

The ultimate human good and attribute we have is our willpower.


Well, we cannot control whether we were born into a rich family, we cannot control what genetics we were born with — but we can control the amount of effort we put into our lives.

We have the power to control our will, and to increase our determination, discipline, and the power of our mind-body.

Eric kim minimalist composition flash selfie bottom frame

There are a lot of things which drain our willpower, or distract (scatter) our willpower.

For example,

  1. Toilsome work drains our willpower
  2. Distracting media takes away from our focus
  3. Scary “fake news” makes us fearful, and makes us have less self-confidence, and might discourage us from trying to do anything (we are scared into submission)

Cindy eye and red curtain, flash. Kyoto, 2018

The best way to live the best life:

Increase our willpower, and use that willpower to do stuff, create stuff, or act on things we actually care about.

That means,

  1. Using your willpower to write, make art, write poetry, make photos, make music, films, etc.
  2. Using your willpower to start your own business, or take entrepreneurial risks.
  3. Using your willpower to create new things, and have the boldness/brazenness to share your own personal (and crazy/foolish) ideas.

Without willpower, we are nothing as humans.

Flash photograph in the rain through clear umbrella. Tokyo, 2017

I’m currently reading “Summa Theologica” by Saint Thomas Aquinas (this guy is super smart), and he philosophized much about free will, passion, and the power of the human will.

Essentially Aquinas states we as humans do in-fact have free will, and that’s what separates us from other “beasts of burden”— other animals are only ruled by their passions (their gut instincts), whereas we humans can use our rationality and direct our own free will.

Flash on reflective mirror elevator. Saigon, 2018

And yes, we do have free will as humans. We cannot control whether our heart automatically pumps blood, or when we breathe while we sleep at night, yet we can control our reactions to life via Stoic and philosophical training, which the Greeks called “askesis” (mental fortitude training/exercise).

So in short, we can gain willpower through self-training, just like how we can build muscle by physical exercise.

To become the most epic person possible, both train your intellect and your body.

Or in other words (in the words of Nassim Taleb)

Academics and philosophers should learn how to deadlift.

Red eric kim muscle flex

Personal tips

Venice. Man with chest tattoo. Leica M6, 35mm, flash, Kodak Portra 400. Shot at 1.2 meters.

This is what I personally do to build my own willpower, and gain willpower:

  1. Workout: After an intense workout session (intense chin-ups or body weight exercises at the park), or heavy “one rep max” powerlifting wt the gym with deadlift, squats, or heavy dumbell presses, I feel amped, hyped, and I feel invincible. I then ride this “beast mode” sense of apotheosis energy, and then start to write, make photos, philosophize, or make art.
  2. Take a nap: When I’m super drained and have no more willpower, I just take a nap. A nap at home on the couch, a nap while riding inside an Uber, or I just lie in my bed, and put on an eyemask with some earplugs. I barbell my action and rest — when I’m intensely working on my creative projects, I down endless cups of black coffee, and when I’m resting, I totally tap out and pass out, and allow myself to rest and recover.
  3. Do something greater than yourself: For me the source of my willpower comes from the belief that I’m doing something that will benefit the greater good — humanity as a whole. That I am helping my fellow humans (still alive) or can be of assistance to future generations. When you’re working on something bigger than yourself, ironically enough you feel less fear, and more purpose in life. Perhaps this is why a lot of martyrs who die for a certain cause don’t actually feel that much fear before they die.
  4. Ketogenic diet: After I have a carb heavy meal, or consume sugar, starch, high fructose corn syrup, etc, I get exhausted and get the infamous “food coma”. Sticking to a ketogenic diet (no carbs, starch, or sugars) and eating only fatty meats and leafy greens, my “fasting blood level” is more steady — I don’t get crashes from exhaustion after a meal. Less food coma during the day means more productive energy for me to make stuff that I’m passionate about, and what I find meaningful.
  5. Memento mori: If you’re gonna die tonight in your sleep, what meaningful work will you create today?


Empower yourself with ZEN OF ERIC >