How to use their willpower

How we can strengthen our willpower

How can we maintain and even increase our willpower in everyday work and in private life? Nehrenheim (2017) suggestsTo reduce willpower eaters, to use willpower in a more energy-saving way, and to increase the performance of willpower. Because jThe more willpower a person has, the more stable the strength of character, which plays an important role for success in working life.

Dennis Nehrenheim (2017) deals in his article with the issues of strength of character and willpower, especially in leadership development. He presents a model to illustrate the relationship: The strength of character resembles a rechargeable battery, while the willpower is its battery level. In this picture the willpower consists of many small globules, the willpower globules. These are used up through efforts over the course of the day. Effort can be either conscious compulsion [1] or resisting temptation [2].

So the memory of the willpower globules is emptied a little every day. This memory can be recharged with energy that is supplied to the body in the form of food, or with enough sleep. A sleep deficit over a longer period of time leads to larger spheres of willpower, which take up more space in the battery and are therefore used up more quickly. Another method that Nehrenheim suggests is the shrinking and increasing of willpower spheres. This happens, for example, through sport and relaxation. Smaller willpower globules mean that the willpower store empties more slowly, since there are more globules. The smaller our willpower globules are and the full the memory is, the less we run the risk of burnout.

The behavior of willpower is that it is a limited good, as can be seen from the willpower beads. Therefore, it makes sense to (1) reduce the number of willpower eaters, (2) use willpower in a more energy-saving way, both of which are possible e.g. through prioritization, and (3) increase the performance of willpower through exercise and relaxation.

Dr. Britta Hölzel (2017) summarizes in a lecture that willpower is related to professional success, improved social relationships and behavior that is more beneficial to health. Well-filled willpower stores promote a good mood, openness to other perspectives and have a lasting effect on motivation. She compares willpower with a muscle that can be strengthened and trained. As tips, she gives a healthy diet, routines [3] that relieve the decision-making power, and preparations [4] that have already been made. This knowledge can also be helpful in the areas of leadership and leadership development.

So if we regularly keep an eye on our willpower, we not only ensure our well-being on various levels, but also a well-charged strength of character. I can strengthen my alertness through mindfulness exercises. This enables us to have a fulfilled life and success at work.


Nehrenheim, D. (2017). Self-Discipline - Why you have more willpower than you think you can. Retrieved from

Hölzel, B. K. (2017).The neuroscience of mindfulness. Presentation given at Mindfulness in Organizations, Salzburg.

[1] An example of this are deadlines: "I have to do that by tomorrow!"

[2] A well-known temptation for chocolate lovers among us is to watch someone else enjoy chocolate that one would like to eat right now.

[3] For mindfulness practice: fixed time and fixed place.

[4] For mindfulness practice: a group to practice together.