Before we get into how motivating thoughts increase willpower, let me start with discussing a bit of news. I have been busy collecting feedback, and I’m pleased with all the feedback I have received from listeners so far.
But before we dive into the feedback, I am happy to say these show notes should read like an article. Enjoy!
Top Feedback from Listeners
1) Over-all people look forward to hearing more
2) The majority of listeners do not consider themselves as actors, and felt left out
3) People want to know more about Willpower
Response to feedback
The friends and family who agreed to give me feedback after the first podcast were not necessarily excited about acting techniques. Surprisingly though, they did receive some value out of the podcast’s content. With that, I am going to be sure that this podcast is speaking to the professional who is looking to improve their professionalism, presentation skills, work performance, and much more through many of the best practices that great actors use.
This episode covers the following:
- Why willpower is important
- How motivation fuels willpower
- An acting technique that helps you understand motivation: Motivating Force
- How to gain control of that motivation and ultimately control yourself
- 4 steps to gain willpower breakthrough
One sentence summary:
You can experience breakthrough in willpower by knowing the purpose behind your goals, and aligning your actions with that purpose.
References and resources mentioned:
Definition of “willpower” – noun. ability to control yourself – From Merriam-Webster.
Acting Technique: Motivating Force from Acting Stanislavski
Why willpower is important
Willpower is important because it gives you control over yourself. Whatever goals or objectives you have, you can achieve them with willpower.
How motivating thoughts increase willpower
In order for you to begin to control yourself, you must understand yourself. You must understand what makes you tick. What makes you tick is your motivating force. Motivating force is a fancy way of saying “motivation” or “will.” Essentially they are motivating thoughts. Motivation ALWAYS comes from within. Motivation is unlike inspiration, which comes from external forces: people, ideas, environments. This is actually your reason for doing what you do. Everyone listening to this podcast has a “reason.” If you know your reason and keep that reason top of mind, you will have a much easier time controlling yourself.
Example: A woman wants to quit smoking because she doesn’t want her cigarette addiction to affect her pregnancy in the three following ways, (1) the baby’s health is at risk during pregnancy, (2) the baby may pick up the habit if the baby is around it at a young age, and (3) the mother may get lung cancer and not be around long enough to watch her child grow up.
Can you imagine how much more difficult it would be for her to have willpower if her motivating force was more trivial?
Your motivation is your reason.
An acting technique that helps you understand motivation
First off, I want to debunk a myth that a lot of people have regarding acting. Most people think that acting only consists of facial expressions, walking from what side of the stage to another, picking up an object, and saying a line. I am here to tell you that this is not true acting. True acting is when an actor is able to fully embody the character he is playing. The actor can do that by discovering the character’s motivating force or motivating thoughts..
Actors are omniscient (know everything) because they know the whole story. Sometimes a script doesn’t give you a motivating force and an actor has to make it up. That’s okay. The motivating force is what gives a character depth.
For characters in a story, their motivating force can be good or it can be bad. Good motivation drives them toward their desires. Bad motivation will drive them toward their fears and away from their desires.Example: The character, Willy Wonka, in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” has goals to hold a contest, do a factory tour for the winners, and give someone a job. These objectives are not his motivating force. His motivating force is his reason for holding the contest in the first place. This motivating force goes beyond his goals. I believe his motivating force to be this: Willy Wonka wants a sustainable chocolate factory. That is why he is holding the contest in the first place. He wants to hold a contest, hold a factory tour, choose a winner, offer a job to the best candidate, and all this results in a sustainable chocolate factory. Willy Wonka also has some bad or negative motivating forces working against him. These stem from his fears, insecurities, and judgments about how life is perceived by him. He has a mistrust for people. He believes that people are not good. This negative motivating force ultimately drives him away from achieving his dreams of having a sustainable chocolate factory. That’s why he got so snappy at Charlie Bucket.
When an actor understands his or her character’s will then the actor can convincingly act like the character. This acting like the character is willpower. So in a sense, acting is using willpower in it’s raw form. Going back to the definition of willpower, “the ability to control yourself.” For actors, it’s the ability to control your character.
How to gain control of that motivating force and ultimately increase willpower
So how can you gain control over yourself or exercise your willpower? How can you act in according to what you want? First you must find your motivating force. What is your why? Why are you doing what you want to do? Why are you quitting smoking? Why are you planning a camping trip? Why are you doing your homework? Know your bad motivating forces.Example: I used to sabotage job interviews because of my fear of working for someone else for 40 hours a week.
4 steps to gain willpower breakthrough
1) Write down a goal or objective.
This should be something you know you should do but you may be struggling with.
2) Write down your motivating force behind that goal.
Remember this is your reason for having the goal in the first place.
3) Be aware of conflicting motivating forces.
These may be fear of other people, fear of failure, fear of responsibility, fear of entrapment, etc.
4) Remind yourself of your motivating force when things get tough.Example: Going back to our example of the pregnant smoker… when she craves a cigarette, she’d need to remember her baby and how healthy and wholesome she wants the baby to be.
You have control over yourself. You get to make your choices. Find your motivating force, keep your motivating thoughts top of mind, and start living your dream.
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