Willpower is the greatest ability of the human mind. It’s the ability that is seen in humans in times of great need. An ability that increases the ability to withstand and endure manifold. And it’s something that our entire society, culture, knowledge, belief systems and also humanity is based on.
No one knows exactly how we generate such power and where it comes from, or the inner principles behind it’s working. We do have some idea about its nature and utility, however. Willpower can be said to be the ability to endure pain, consciously. Simply put, the more pain one can handle, the stronger will one has. The pain can be of any form- mental stress, emotional wounds or physical fatigue – are just some of the enumerable forms of pain we humans experience. With just slight imagination, one can imagine how monstrous one can be if they could correctly utilize such pain to drive themselves forward.
Through extensive research, many ways of utilizing willpower have been found out- from daily disciplines to extremely torturous training (in military, for example). Getting up from your be, studying, working out- all these are said to use up a specific willpower resource in your mind. This resource, according to research gets depleted if you use it too much, without giving rest to your body. However, not much is known about how much of it do we have and how does it get depleted in the first place. One can only assume that it is somewhat like a muscle that gets strained and fatigued on constant usage. However, something has been made clear, that short breaks and slightly long breaks are usually enough most of the times to recover our willpower resources. Even under conditions of extreme conditions of fatigue, deep sleep helps recover willpower quickly.
Another curious observation that was made was, the more you get accustomed to using it, the more of it you’ll have. Scientists saw that this resource- “Willpower Fluid”- is a rather multipurpose resource, that no matter what causes it’s increase, it’s effect would be felt in all areas. So just by getting up at the same time daily gives you willpower boost!
An analogy can be used to see this well. It can be thought of as a well that magically refills itself every-night. You want to drink water? Take it out of the well. But if you’ve used up all of water in the well, you have to wait for it to refill again. With greater use, more of the well get’s dug up, thereby increasing its storage capacity. You could also forcefully dig up the well after all the water has been used to increase your willpower reserve in a short period of time. This is how some people with great ability show extremely strong reaction when needed. That and well of course, adrenaline.
However, like everything that can increase, it can decrease as well. This can be simply understood like this: At night, the water that comes magically, is actually filled with sediments and other minerals. The sediments quickly settle down to form a thin layer of sand on the bottom. This layer is so think, that it can be remove simply after a little digging. Yet not many people who are able to get to the bottom, have the will to dig for more. Analogies aside; willpower does indeed tend to decrease if not utilized much. Some of the ways it could decrease are: Not following through what is meant to be done, engaging in pleasures of any sort- short term or long term, and moral conflicts of any sort as well.
From the known things about willpower, we can see that- having a will to do something is what has made up most of our current life, the will of every person is like a personalized superpower they have and this will can influence the world through various extensions like tools, beliefs, religion, culture and mostly everything we do on a daily basis. This is thus, the greatest power of humanity.