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Willpower Or Motivation - Which One Will Help You Reach Your Goals Faster?

Code of Living Author

By: Chris. B – 6 months 1 week​ ago
Willpower Or Motivation

Setting goals in life is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible – Tony Robbins

We set all types of goals for ourselves every day. However, do you know the majority of the goals that we set for ourselves remain just dreams?

According to research by the University of Scranton, 92% of people that set New Year Resolutions never actually achieve them.

Yet, goals are essential if we are to achieve the life we have always wanted. Goals make our lives worth living. It is because of the goals that we keep going even in the worst of the days. Without having goals to work towards, we merely roam about and achieve nothing.

You hit what you aim at, and if you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. 

The journey to the pursuit of goals is long and winding. Life is very effective at interjecting our goals. We are all capable of setting goals, but do we all have what it takes to achieve them? Setting goals is only the first step in making the changes we want in our lives. Beyond setting these potentially life-changing goals, we need skills that will sustain our pursuit of the goals.


Motivation is fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly. – Stephen R. Covey. 

Whenever you embark on the pursuit of an important goal, you will encounter hardships and obstacles that may lead you to abandon the pursuit. The ability to maintain the momentum to ensure the completion of your goals cannot be underestimated. This is where motivation comes in. In the absence of motivation, commitment, determination, and passion suffer. Pursuing your goals without motivation is like driving a car without fuel.

When I lose the sense of motivation and the sense to prove something as a basketball player. It is time for me to move away from the game. – Michael Jordan

Motivation is the energy that drives you to accomplish your goals. No matter what goal you are pursuing, you need the motivation to stay on course. Is your goal to raise healthy, well-adjusted children who will be productive members of the society? You need motivation. Are you pursuing your second or third degree? You must be motivated. Have you just been diagnosed with a chronic condition and you are determined to beat it and live a full life? You need motivation. Do you plan to rise to the highest level of your career? You guessed right ……. You need motivation.

Without motivation, parents give up their parenting efforts; students drop out of college midway, employees stop growing; business owners wrap up their businesses and manuscripts remain just that.

Motivation is the fuel that pushes you to try one more time when all the conditions are conducive for you to give up. You know it will not be easy, but because you are motivated, you believe it can be done.

If you are to achieve your goal, the desire to fulfill the goal must be maintained throughout the process: this is motivation.

The importance of motivation in the pursuit of our goals

  • Motivation helps you to remain focused. Every day you are bombarded by activities that compete for your attention. Motivation helps you to ignore the noises and concentrate on the most critical goal.
  • Motivation will also help you to be consistent. There are days you will hit obstacles in the pursuit of your goals. There will also be days when you will just not feel like doing anything. What about those days when doubts will set in? 

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit. – Aristotle


Willpower is the self-discipline and self-control to do something that does not come easily. Willpower enables us to delay gratification; resist short-term temptations for the sake of long-term goals.

Research by the American psychological association revealed that lack of willpower was the greatest barrier to achieving goals.

Have you come across unique individuals who have insatiable desire and strength to persist in spite of the obstacles that they encounter? They will resist the urge to sample the delicious sweetness because nothing will stand in their way of losing weight. They will stay up all night to crack the assignment that everyone else gave up on. It does seem that these people have no limitations and no weaknesses. Right? Wrong! These individuals are regular people with their share of fears, doubts, limitations, and setbacks. However, they have learned to conquer their weaknesses. Their resilience will trample any disappointment or obstacle that stands in their way.

Willpower will help you find the inner strength to overcome failure, laziness, disappointment, self-doubt, and temptations.

To achieve your goals, you are going to have to be uncomfortable. It is easier to reach for that cookie instead of going to the gym; it is easier to walk out on a deal when the client becomes impossible; as it is easier to snooze the alarm clock instead of waking up at 5 am. This is where willpower comes in. Willpower helps us to be comfortable with the sacrifices we may have to make in the pursuit of our goals.

If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it; go through it or work around it. – Michael Jordan

Many people give up way too soon when they encounter setbacks and challenges. They choose to let go of their goals instead of seeking alternative ways of and improving their strategies.

People don’t fail so much as give up easily. – John Mason

The importance of willpower in the chase after your goals

  • With willpower, you will adapt to changing conditions and difficult, unpredictable circumstances as you pursue your goals.
  • Willpower will help your bounce straight back up after the worst setback and continue with the pursuit of your goal.
  • Willpower will give you the strength to reject temptations of instant gratification for a more significant prize.

Willpower or motivation- which one will help you reach your goals faster? 

Motivation activates willpower to change a situation. Failures of willpower reflect the operation of the motivational system. For instance, when you find your willpower waning, focusing on the reward (motivation) revives your inner strength (willpower). Every pursuit of success will have setbacks. There is no such thing as a golden road en route your goal. Obstacles will have you doubt whether you can reach your goal but motivation will help you develop the willpower to try again. Motivation will get you the willpower to persevere when reality tells you to give up. 

Motivation fuels your willpower, without which you cannot navigate the winding road to your goals. So fix your eyes on your goal (motivation), and you will find the inner strength (willpower) to fight through to your destination.

Motivation and willpower are not mutually exclusive. Motivation begets willpower.


About The Author – Chris. B:​

Code of Living Author

Christopher runs the blog which is about your clarifying and improving your relationship with your brain. He has an advanced diploma in social science and a graduate diploma in technology education. When he’s not learning, he’s teaching at a local high school, enjoying time with his young family or if he’s really lucky, he’s in the garden.