Everyone struggles with willpower, and everyone develops bad habits. Your willpower struggles aren’t unique, but for things to change, we must change. The way we approach habits and willpower would be a great place to begin. I am no genius, but Albert Einstein was. He said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly but expecting different results.” We have to want the result our new habits are going to produce more than the immediate gratification of our bad habits. Our reward system favors bad habits. If we don’t design our environment correctly, bad habits are going to win. “Bad habits are easy to form, but hard to live with. Good habits are hard to form but easy to live with. And as Goethe said, “Everything is hard before it’s easy.”
When people fail to change, they blame their willpower. Willpower is the scapegoat of people that needlessly subject themselves to temptation. No one has enough willpower to subject themselves unnecessarily to temptation. If you examine the environment of disciplined people, you will discover they engineered it to eliminate the need to exert willpower. They don’t have more willpower. They avoid the need to use it. Willpower is an ineffective change strategy. Shaping the Path, on the other hand, is very effective. Commitment eliminates the need for willpower. When we shape our environment correctly, we discourage bad habits. We remove temptations and make good habits the default by making them easier to do, and bad habits more difficult. The more committed we are to shaping our environment, the less willpower we’ll need. The best way to change your life is by changing something you do each day. Change your habits, change your life! Nothing is stronger than habit.