I just finished Benjamin Hardy’s “Willpower Doesn’t Work,” and I think it had a message that can apply to all our lives.

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In Benjamin Hardy’s “Willpower Doesn’t Work,” the author suggests that it is ultimately our environment that shapes us, and therefore, the most effective way to make desired changes in your life is by consciously designing and altering your surroundings. Willpower constitutes “white-knuckling” our way toward change, while dictating and enriching our environments means that accomplishment becomes automatic, rather than an effort.

The author makes an interesting point that Will Durant’s historical record of the world, “The Story of Civilization” uncovered a secret about some of the greatest people known. They discovered most of them were average people that chose to take a stand. It appears that demanding situations created the need for greatness, and therefore, history was not shaped by great men, but by demanding situations instead.

According to Hardy, for us to do our best work and live our best life, we need to put ourselves into a high-stress, peak-performance mode, followed by a high recovery period. The author recommends starting with journaling and visualization each morning at a place outside of your normal environment where you can align yourself with your aspirations before all the world’s distractions consume you.


The more choices you have, the fewer decisions you make. So, eliminate some of your options—remove everything that conflicts with your decisions. Keep your closet down to between five and seven outfits to choose between. Get rid of junk food from the house. If you want to spend better quality, uninterrupted time with family, leave your phone in the car when you get home. Unplug your laptop so you that only have a certain amount of time before the power runs out. Create a self-imposed pressure to do what you need to.

The author says that sometimes, carrying a heavy load gives us the traction we need to move forward in life. Outsource your motivation to high-pressure environments by competing at a skill level higher than your current one and by seeking out transformational relationships, even if it means you have to pay handsomely to a high-power mentor. Essentially, do what you can to leap into a demanding situation where the stakes are high, and let it shape you.

If these messages resonate with you, I encourage you to grab a copy of Benjamin Hardy’s “Willpower Doesn’t Work.” In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for any questions you have. We’d be glad to hear from you.

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