Do you know anyone who went through a full transformation? I
mean, someone who has drastically changed his/hers habits? A complete overhaul.
What do you think happened to this person? Do you think that
he/she has an enormous amount willpower, determination and self-control?
Well, I assure you that it was more than that.
You see, willpower is a conscious decision that requires a
lot of energy and effort, making it a limited resource that can only be accessed
when you are at the top of your game. This means that when you are felling
tired, stressed, sad, angry or even bored, you will not be able to use your
willpower. (can you remember a time in which you were resolute to wake up early
to go to the gym, for instance, but in the morning when the alarm went off, you
simply convinced yourself to stay in be?)
The truth is that all change happens on the subconscious level
because that’s where our habits, patterns and addictions are stored. Willpower,
on the other hand, is part of the conscious domain and the conscious mind is
only responsible for 5% of our mental capacity. The other 95% is run by the
To explain this concept I like using the following metaphor.
Imagine that your conscious mind is a tiny little person.
This person is supposed to ride on top of a huge elephant. The elephant is your
Now, the rider is smart and has the ability to guide the
elephant through the path he wants. However, because of the difference in size,
the rider doesn’t have the power to control this elephant. If the elephant for
some reason gets scared, distracted or impulsive, it take off in the opposite
direction, and the rider will not have the strength to prevent it from running
This means that to make permanent changes, you will need to
learn what motivates your elephant, so your rider can easily guide it through
the path you want.