Boost Your Willpower To Get Happy in 2015

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Thinking about adopting a New Year’s Resolution this year?  Consider this instead.

2014 has been a good year for happiness.  From the explosion of health-tracking devices to a new focus on the growing field of positive psychology, people in record numbers are paying attention to their happiness – not just financially, but in all domains of life.

Suddenly deciding to “just be happy” is a tall order – especially when it’s unclear how to do it.  They never taught happiness skills when I was in school, and there is no well known way for educators or even parents to teach it.

So let’s break it down to the basics: what is happiness really, and how do we get more of it?

Hint: it has a lot more to do with food than you ever thought possible, and not just bacon and chocolate.

Willpower Is a Secret Source of Your Happiness – Or Unhappiness

Happiness is a feeling, and feelings by definition don’t come from rational thinking – which makes it hard to use logic to teach happiness. Still, we know that we feel unhappiness when we expend effort but repeatedly do not get the results we want. In other words, futility breeds unhappiness.

Happiness can come from many sources, and you can learn to feel happy for no reason while doing nothing. One easier-to-learn form of happiness comes from a sense of achievement of almost any goal.  Even more happiness (and the sought-after flow state) comes from achieving goals that are in the service of others, according to Rise of Superman author Steven Kotler.

So if successfully working towards goals for yourself or others can help you feel happiness, having energy and willpower can help you to have happiness. If you’re tired and drained of your will, it’s not impossible to be happy, but it’s darn hard. So by doing things that help you to maintain limitless energy and willpower, you make it easier to feel happiness.  (Limitless energy alone does not equal happiness; you can use energy to be even more of a jerk if that’s your vibe…)

The Consequences of Depleted Willpower

Take me, for example: as a person who grew up obese and sick, I rarely had the energy I wanted to fully apply my will.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but in my quest to lose weight, I was wasting a huge amount of willpower to resist my food cravings and limit calories.  I spent all day every day unsuccessfully trying to suppress cravings, only to cave in each evening.  I spent months eating a restricted calorie, low fat diet while exercising 6 days a week for 90 minutes a day – without achieving my weight loss goals.

Obese people use up a ton of willpower – it’s just misdirected.

I would have been far better off spending that energy on relationships, career, service, meditation, or anything else in life with the power to help me feel happy.

If you spend every single minute of every day struggling against your biology, are you going to have much energy or willpower left for anything else?  Just imagine: what if you could divert all of this precious energy elsewhere?

The real happiness question becomes: what are you capable of when you’re no longer distracted by food cravings (you probably call them hunger) or energy crashes, when you can direct all your willpower toward your biggest goals in life?

Whether you’re a busy mom, dad, student, or entrepreneur, now is the time to find out.

The New Willpower Equation: Food for Brain and Body

There was a silver lining to my struggle with weight – I started investigating what I could do to feel better and think better, since the weight loss advice I had received from mainstream medicine failed completely, no matter how hard I tried.

That’s part of why I wrote The Bulletproof Diet, published last month: to help people feel, look, and perform their best every day.

It may at first seem like hyperbole, but what my relentless biohacking showed me is that your diet is the foundation behind not only your weight, but also your mental performance, stress levels, risk of disease, physical performance, aging, and even willpower. You are truly what you eat.

There are many pieces to the willpower equation you can use to hack your biology, but getting your food right – in addition to managing your sleep and stress levels – is one of the most critical variables when you’re trying to gain control of your brain and body to get the outcomes you desire.

Learning what it takes to make my biology run so well has freed my energy so much that it feels effortless to use it where it matters most.  It makes running a small business that helps people and being a father so much easier! And that does make me feel happy every single day.

Think about it: when your body runs better, you will have more energy, which in turn converts into more willpower.  That willpower will help you experience happiness.

How To Jumpstart Your Willpower in Two Weeks

When you upgrade your diet, it’s effortless to lose weight fast, but the real win is feeling fantastic, like you have the power to be your own best version of who you are.

The Bulletproof Diet is based on a roadmap (get it free here) to upgrading your body and your mind from the inside out. For you, becoming Bulletproof might mean having more energy from better sleep, losing weight with minimal exercise, or simply feeling like the lights in your brain have turned on for the first time.

Going Bulletproof won’t automatically make you happy, but it will help you accomplish the happiness goals you define for yourself while losing up to a pound a day and never wasting your energy on feeling deprived or hungry.  You’ll find willpower you didn’t even know you had in less than 2 weeks.

Happy New Year – wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2015!

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By Dave Asprey

  • sarah901

    Alexandra . I can see what your saying… Lucille `s c0mment is super… last friday I got a great new BMW 5-series from earning $9361 this – 4 weeks past and-over, ten k this past munth . this is certainly the most-financially rewarding I’ve had . I began this six months/ago and almost straight away started bringin home minimum $86 per/hr . see here now…..>> -> internet paying jobs for home!!! <-

  • rebecca huff

    This is so true. I just wrote about this myself. How to flex your willpower muscle, one of the best ways is to feed your brain, proper nutrition, good quality sleep, etc. I ate healthy foods before, no processed junk, etc. but I learned so much from your book about almonds, macadamia, etc. that I didn’t know before. I thought I was doing so good to avoid peanuts. The chapter on exercise was freeing as well! Thanks!!

  • Carol Willis

    The “power” in “will power” doesn’t come from effort or force, but from the natural power of a true and appropriate idea, plus being clear on the next “baby steps” needed to move in the right direction, which allows you to get into action easily. Light, spontaneous, effective.

  • toasted melon

    I’m finding it hard to have a direction, at 50 no family no goals no real passions that I’ve found yet, but still happy that each baby step may lead to some direction. bullet proof coffee with ghee and MCT oil has made a noticeable difference in clarity. I think willpower still requires a goal or direction to be an effect even the small ones I’ve set as walking every day for half an hour no matter what. My thoughts always sway though to..do you have to have goals, whats wrong with just being alive and thankful….this sort of conflicts with contributing back to society hence my total confusion every day as to why I am working 8-5 in a job I can do blind folded with people I don’t really like just to pay the bills to allow me to work 8-5. Am I crazy?

    • Xin

      You know, that’s an interesting question: I’ve encountered many people who just love the experience of life, and being alive, or “alive and thankful,” as you put it.

      …I don’t think artificial goals that aren’t in alignment with what seems beautiful or happy to a particular person necessarily help, and artificially trying to set goals can be the ANTITHESIS/OPPOSITE of going -towards- happiness.

      …I’ve found that many people who seem happy, or seem to have a passion or desire in life have particular experiences or aspects of life which they are truly happy with.

      Then, out of wanting the joy of being able to, say… create beautiful art, or… grow a clean, wonderful garden, or… anything else– whatever the form is–they go after the life which looks like it fits that.

      That, more than an artificial ambition, is what makes many happy people tend to design creative lives which also make them “rich”.

      (Looking at Dave, he seems fairly happy, and his blog and podcast and way of living life look quite unusual. Extrapolating from what I’ve red, he actually seems passionate about & fascinated by the various ways that one can impact the human experience of health for the better, and has made the money to be able to experiment and tinker with most of the fascinating, cutting-edge stuff.)

      But, money is (or can be) a foundation for your life — it allows you to gain things, or exchange for others’ effort. It’s not–strictly speaking –necessary.

      Many creative people actually exchange their talents or other useful services for room or board, and live an unconventional life.

      YOU may find that your life pursuits require actual money — but there are creative ways to do this, too. 🙂

      …but, letting being alive, and happiness in those experiences guide your life could be much more in the right direction.

      ….another really, very important thing to consider is… that modern, western/idustrialized societies tend to “teach” about goals looking a particular way, and fitting a particular form.

      …a “doctor” is someone who reads, and memorizes by rote, compendiums-full of jargon, often with little creativity or personal, actual understanding. A “mathematician” is someone who studies books full of rote. So’s a “scientist”.

      …but, in reality… human health is fascinating. Exploring it is not bound by rote, and what textbooks tell you — in fact, textbooks tend to engender the opposite of understanding, nowadays: they encourage -sounding- like one knows what they’re talking about by repeating what others have agreed upon.

      That encourages stagnation in discovery and improvement.

      Mathematics, which is taught as this horrible, stupid rote thing in many schools, is very artistic, and can be explored by anyone. It’s a language which can be played with to describe anything in the world. But, not in its memorize-this-formula-and-these-statistics-p-values silliness.

      Pythagoras’ work, calculating triangles and distances? Taught horribly: why is that relevant? …how does that imply… distances, too? Why does it even work?

      But, the joy of discovering things, and of… having the approach to life that one might if one were trying to have an approach to the world that would allow them to work something like that out — to discover how the world works for oneself — is very different from the disempowered, textbook-dependent, “expert”-dependent stagnation many people are presented.

      The world has a lot of beauty if one actually tries to work at an ability for truly understanding, from whatever place you’re in — however much or little understanding you’ve worked on for yourself.

      People have regarded it as funny to investigate the basis of…. numbers, but I think that there is a lot of depth and beauty in something as “basic” (really actually complex) as that.

      What a shame that modern societies tend to flatten and simplify the world into “obvious,” textbook-definition phenomena!

      …after all, it’s neat to have all this … stuff that humans have developed (Computers! Steel! Electricity! Modern stuff!), but it’s much more interesting to understand how to -make- more stuff, and feel like you can explore the world yourself.

      Curiosity and fascination. Not thinking of “how the world works” as defined by a set of elite experts off in their fields (who are often actually — really, honestly — not all that great at -understanding-, but quite good at regurgitation)

      ….so, that WHOLE worldview may be another factor which contributes to “goals” looking dubious as a …goal.

      No playing-with-words intended. 😉

      • toasted melon

        Thankyou for the reply Xin, I understand what you are saying and love how eloquently you have put it. It seems that life for me will be an eternal struggle with myself.

  • Charles Mitchell

    So I can eat whatever I desire and still not gain weight? sounds too good to be true.

    • Greg Anderton

      it is too good to be true….

    • asd

      Who said that?

  • David, I think you captured the power and limitation of bio-hacking when you said, “my biology …. has freed my energy so much that it feels effortless to use it where it matters most”.

    Meaning, diet / bio-hacking can free up tons of energy (awesome you’ve helped me here), but in the end, what is “more” power without a meaningful outlet? With nitro in your tank, you’re just going to get to wherever you’re going faster. Not a bad thing for someone with purpose, meaning, a real “matters most”.

    Thoughts?

  • Jennifer

    I am doing a bone broth cleanse, eating fermented veggies and some animal protein as needed, along with detoxifying supplements, and I find that I am no longer craving sugar. I have lost 10 lbs in a little over a week. I know that this is quickly, but my body has been somewhat sick for so long. I think it is trying to reach its homeostasis. I also have some weight to loose. I would like to loose another 30 lbs. I really like to bulletproof diet and will maintain my loss this way. I do great on animal protein and have learned so much in the past few months. I have been a colonic therapist for 20 years and what I was taught about detoxification was really off. What I have observed is that bloating can be an indication of a sensitivity and also candida. It is also due to eating unrefined grains and a strictly vegetarian diet. I am 59 years old and from the collagen from the bone broths has started making my face smoother. I am really excited about this way of detoxification and am going to continue to follow it and help my clients go toward this.