Willpower Is More Important than IQ

That’s why the point isn’t to become smarter, but to become more self-disciplined. Knowledge ultimately comes from the process.

There are thousands of available diets. But many people pick one to try for a short time, only to quit soon after. Hundreds of thousands of businesses were started in 2015, but many of those have already closed their doors. And there are 144 professional sports teams within the five major sports, but only five champions. Of course, there is no perfect diet, or business, or sports team, but there are those who will put in the necessary work to win.

Sure, there’s a small percentage of diets, businesses, and teams that are better than others, but the problem in most instances is that most people don’t have enough willpower — the ability to delay gratification, resisting short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals — to put in the necessary work. Research from Angela Duckworth and Martin Seligman shows that willpower is even more important than IQ. That’s why the point isn’t to become smarter, but to become more self-disciplined. Knowledge ultimately comes from the process.

People tend to know the right things to do; they just don’t do them. In my coaching and consulting business, I have given great advice to clients, but some fall short because a lack of work ethic and an abundance of blame. They blame anything else but their poor execution — the very problem they need to deal with to find success.

Remember, you can read all the advice, leadership, and self-help books that you want, but you have to put in the work if you want anything to change. Correct execution always requires the willpower to put in the necessary work.