Charles Starrett

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Culture consultant & social tech teacher/facilitator at SoulCo & Northeastern University. He/Him. Dad, Harvard and NEC alum, visual thinker, dabbler in ukulele, electronic music, 한국어, and TTRPGs.

Willpower and willingness

There’s a difference between willpower and willingness.

Willpower is the power to will yourself to do something even if you don’t want to.

Willingness is the opening of the will to do the work that matters to you.

When we struggle with procrastination, we may think that we lack willpower. The question is, are we really willing to do what we need to do to get what we think we want. Are we being honest with ourselves about how we feel. About what we really want.

When we’re aware of our true wants and needs, our decisions and actions will naturally move us in the direction of those wants and needs. But if we’re unclear about what we want, or fooling ourselves about what we want, then we may find that we can’t push ourselves through the difficult challenges of doing the work.

That’s a big reason for why we procrastinate: we’re not being honest with ourselves about what we truly want.

It’s not the strength of our will, or willpower, that we need. It’s the openness of our will — our willingness to see, feel, and act on what we truly want — that carries us through.

2 May 2022

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