How To Increase Willpower To Study English
In this English language lesson, we talk about Willpower, and it's meaning and use in English language conversation.
More importantly, we also discuss why willpower separates humans from animals, how from a young age we develop willpower and it can have a huge influence on how successful we are in when we grow up. Definitely not one to miss.
Hi there, I’m Hilary and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English. Listen to this podcast a number of times. First time through, see how much you can understand – you may not understand all of it. And then listen a second time and a third time – you may be surprised how much more of the meaning you can pick up. Then you might need to look up a couple of the words that you’ve not understood – or perhaps you might listen with the transcript in front of you – it’s always available on our website. Once you can listen to the podcast all the way through, and understand it, then listen a few more times to help you remember the new words. This is really good for your language learning – you’re learning consciously and unconsciously.
Anyway, let’s take a word in English and talk about its meaning. Today’s word is ‘willpower’. There are lots of things in life that you need willpower to do – but its meaning may not be obvious to you immediately. The word ‘power’, P-O-W-E-R in English means your ability, your capacity to make something happen. If you’re powerful, it’s means that you have a lot of power. If you’re the boss at work or if you’re a politician, you have power. So you can make other people do things. We also use the word power for electricity. So you might talk about turning on or turning off the power – in a house, or to something electrical. So it means turning on or off the electricity. So the word power means what makes something or someone work. What makes us go!
Help Us Share This Article & You Can Download Immediately
Why did this change? We need you to help us tell people about this FREE English language lesson. If you share this article you help us and in return we charge you nothing to download the audio and a FULL lesson transcript.
In This Lesson, We Talk About Some Of The Research That Helps Us Understand What Willpower Is
So what’s the difference between the word ‘power’ and the word ‘willpower’. Well, obviously you know the word ‘will’, because it’s part of the future tense in English – ‘You will travel to London’, ‘He will eat oranges’ etc. But the word can also be a noun in English. Your will, is your want, your determination, your capacity to make something happen. You might say that someone ‘has a strong will’ - that means that they’re very determined, they know what they want. And you can also use it as a verb – if you ‘will something to happen’ that means you really, really wish it to happen. We also use phrases like ‘through force of will’ - which means through very much wanting it or we say ‘against his will’ or ‘against her will’, meaning that he or she didn’t want it to happen.
A will is also the word we use when you make a legal document to say what you want to happen to your possessions when you die. If you like, it’s what you will to happen, after your death. So ‘will’ is a word for what you want, what you wish to happen.
Learn To Speak English And How To Increase Willpower And Determination
So your willpower, means the strength of your determination, the power of your will. And willpower is important. There are lots of things in life that you are more successful at, if you have good willpower.
So if you do sport – say if you’re a runner. Then sometimes you go for a run and you really enjoy it. Maybe the weather is just right, not too hot, not too cold and you feel full of energy. You run and it feels good. But inevitably there comes that day where you just don’t want to go for your run – you’re tired, it’s raining, your foot hurts, there is something good on television. So it’s your willpower that takes your out running on those days. And if you run a marathon, you certainly need willpower to get through 26 miles of running.
But it’s not just in sport that willpower is important. You may use willpower, when you’re recovering from an illness or if you have an injury and it takes a long time to get better. Sometimes people have injuries that mean that they have to learn to walk again. This can take a long time – and it needs huge willpower.
The lack of good weather in a typical UK summer makes heatwave an unusual phrase to use in English speaking
Sometimes we need willpower to stop ourselves from doing things. If you smoke cigarettes and you want to stop, because it’s bad for your health, there are things which you can do to help – but it’s largely down to your willpower in the end. If you want to eat healthily and not put on weight, you need willpower. I find that as far as food is concerned, I’ve got quite good willpower. If I put on weight, I just eat less and lose it. But the one thing which I find hard to resist? Chocolate. If there is chocolate, my willpower is not strong. If I’ve eaten one chocolate, that’s it, my willpower is ‘out of the window’, as we would say. I would be saying ‘Mmm. Where are the rest of those chocolates?!’
Willpower means that we are different from animals. When we’re faced with choices, if we’re using our willpower, we decide what we want to do, not on the basis of what good looks like now – but what we choose will mean good things in the future. Animals don’t do this. They go with what looks good right now. There’s a famous science experiment, started in the 1960s, done by a psychologist called Walter Mischel. Children aged 4 years old were offered a choice. A sweet now – or two sweets if they can wait for 15 minutes. So the experiment was designed to test their willpower. Can you wait 15 minutes and have twice the reward, or it is just too difficult to resist and you eat that one sweet now? The results were recorded and the children followed into adulthood. Mischel did the study for around 650 children. He found that those children who showed that they’d got good willpower early on in their lives – so the ones who choose to wait 15 minutes and have two sweets instead of one, were more successful in life. They were more likely to go to university, more likely to have successful jobs, successful marriages and better health.
It Will Take Willpower To Listen To English Listening Exercises Many Times
So does that mean that willpower is there or not? Does that mean that it’s decided by the time you’re 4 years old? I don’t think so. I think fortunately willpower is something that you can learn. Something that you can teach yourself, something that you can work on and improve.
And of course, willpower is important when you’re trying to learn a language. Despite what many websites may tell you, it is not possible to learn a language properly in three weeks – or even three months. Learning a language, so that you can speak it fluently, takes effort and time. And there will be times when you’re motivated and you’re in the right mood and you enjoy it. And there’ll be times when you think, ‘Uh, I’d rather go and do something else’. And that’s OK sometimes, but if you really want to learn, you have to have willpower. You have to ‘stick at it’, keep working. Your reward is not now - it will come later when you can speak English fluently!
So keep at it, keep up your willpower. Enough for now, have a lovely day, speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
We hope this helps you understand some more English vocabulary and the importance of keeping a strong sense of willpower when learning to speak English.
Learning a new language is not easy for everyone, making progress for some people can be slow and disheartening. So it is super important that you keep your willpower strong.
You need to learn to push through the difficult times which will ultimately lead to your success in speaking English (this is true of any goal or ambition really!). Have fun, and we can catch up in next weeks podcast.