A Tool for Invoking Willpower
It’s a rare individual who feels they couldn’t use more willpower—usually much more! We call on willpower when we have to do something difficult or unpleasant, or when we need to restrain harmful impulses.
When the world around you is tempting you in the wrong direction, and you have to act despite it, you need a force you can generate completely from inside yourself. You need a spark—a light in the darkness. You need willpower.
Unlike the other higher forces described in The Tools, which are already present and you just need to reach out to them, willpower isn’t there unless you generate it yourself.
Luckily there’s a tool for that, and it’s called Jeopardy.
Imagine you can see far into the future. See yourself lying on your deathbed. (You may feel put off by this idea, but you need a perspective on life that creates a sense of urgency, and death is the most powerful thing to remind you the present moment is priceless.) This older self knows how crucial the present moment is because she’s run out of them. You see her rouse herself from her bed and scream at you not to waste the present moment. You feel a deep, hidden fear that you’ve been squandering your life. This creates an urgent pressure to use—right now—whichever tool you need most in this moment.
You can use Jeopardy at any time, but especially when you find you’ve lost all motivation and you can’t bring yourself to use any of the other tools in the book. Once you start using Jeopardy you’ll find other places it comes in handy, and you’ll realize it’s not just a tool but also a model for being fully alive.