The Caterpillar's Struggle

Story : Finding the Fire Within

Rain lashed against the window, mirroring the storm raging inside Pooja. Tears welled up in her eyes as she spoke, her voice trembling like a leaf caught in the wind. “My mother,” she began, “is a master manipulator, an expert puppeteer who’s been pulling the strings of my life for as long as I can remember.”

“My mother behaves as though she was a victim, always blaming me for her difficulty or conditions. She will never leave an opportunity to elicit guilt through emotional blackmail, manipulating my weaknesses to make me feel bad, and intervening in my life to exert control.

She suffers from bipolar disorder. I’m not sure how much of that influenced her personality. I’ve known several persons with bipolar disorder who are generous and caring.

She appears to the outer world as an apostle of generosity and forgiveness.

In reality, she is a sadist. A self-centered opportunist who is an expert at severing people’s lives and has no regrets in doing so, rather she savors her exploits as if she were an incarnation of Themis sent on earth with a mission to balance the Karma.

For her, making a new friend is going to war. She needs to know her enemy(or friend?) to deploy manipulative strategies to get an upper hand.

When I would be sick, she’d take out her bible and randomly open it to read God’s special message to me. If you pray, God will heal you.

She wanted me to “Focus” on my studies when she wanted to spend quality time with her loved one behind my father’s back.

I have grown up with hopelessness, feeling worthless, confused, and overwhelmed. I have always been scared of making new friends. It felt like I was incorrect all the time and that nothing I did or said was ever sufficient.


I was always afraid of reporting my injuries or mishaps to her. I was yelled at, shaken, slapped in the face, and told I was a foolish and thoughtless selfish young girl.”

She continued, “My mother took violin lessons alongside me when I was young, and only stopped when I outperformed her.

What she has done to my life and psyche is beyond words. If she dies tomorrow, I’m quite sure I won’t even go to her funeral.

I am the family’s black sheep, and I am quite content with that status.”

Pooja was advised to set strict boundaries, instead of sabotaging her future by going for any imaginary gratification in the present.

“Dominating people have nothing in their life except wanting to control other people’s lives. They are highly insecure individuals whose life is so dependent on others, that they can’t leave others free”, conveyed the counselor.

She further added, “Getting past a toxic presence in life is a must. It takes a decent level of misery to be so dramatic. It’s why growing up with negative people is so damaging to children. Everything is warped in the child’s mind, and it’s not their fault.”

fire within

On her journey of personal development, Pooja had to reduce and eliminate interactions with her mother. It was a difficult process but it was her freedom that was at stake. To be inside a venomous cage or breathe free air. It was she who had to decide. She decided on getting past her history and making a fresh start in her life, and she did a fabulous job at it. Will is not just required for winning Olympic medals but also unheard of triumphs in individual life.

Other than the story, let us hear some expert advice on will so that one day we all fly like our champion butterfly.


We all face moments of procrastination, lacking the motivation to tackle necessary tasks. This internal struggle often gets labeled as a lack of willpower, but the reality is more complex.

This article will delve into the concept of willpower, exploring various expert perspectives on how to harness its power in everyday life.

Psychologists, coaches, and life advisors offer valuable insights on how to cultivate self-motivation. By understanding the nuances of willpower and implementing these expert-backed strategies, you can unlock a greater sense of control and direction in your life.


Expert Insights

“To increase willpower, connect with why you are doing this task. Clearly understanding exactly how this task will help you and what bad outcomes might happen if you avoid the task will make it easy to achieve. The problem occurs when we are doing tasks because others have told us to, or we think we “should,” but we don’t understand the direct cause-and-effect benefit of doing the task. We can feel like, “I know I should do this, but I just don’t want to,” and then endlessly procrastinate.

For example, a family member may tell you to clean your house. You don’t want to bother and feel resentment and annoyance when you think about cleaning. However, if you think it through and list all the benefits for yourself of having a clean house– perhaps getting to enjoy your own house fully, having others over for dinner or parties, not being embarrassed if a friend drops by unexpectedly – as well as the possible bad outcomes for keeping things a mess: mold growing on dishes, attracting bugs and having to pay for an exterminator, not being able to find essential items, it will be easy to see how this benefits you directly, regardless of the opinions of others.

When you feel a clear connection with a good outcome for yourself and avoid bad outcomes, it’s straightforward to do that cleaning. The same applies to work, starting a business, friendships, and relationships. Often, we just haven’t thought about the cause-and-effect outcomes of various actions, making it hard to find motivation.

Another example is, let’s say you run a small business and do the cleaning yourself in the office because you are still struggling financially. You know you should empty your trash can full of papers at the end of the day, but you feel lazy and don’t want to. You let the bin overflow, and your employees notice this. They also don’t empty their trash cans either. Then, a potential investor shows up one day and notices the overflowing bins while on an office tour.

The investor wonders if the business is not being run well since they don’t even have time to empty their trash cans and questions if there are workflow problems. They decide not to invest. This is just one example of a bad possible outcome. Keeping these possibilities in mind makes it much easier to find the motivation to empty all trash bins. On the flip side, if the office is sparkling clean when potential investors or clients drop by, they will likely get a positive impression and be more likely to want to work together. The excitement of growing the business (and no longer struggling financially) can motivate you to do this otherwise tedious task that seems unimportant and uninteresting.

I used the cleaning example above, but the same is true for any task. Whether it is an Excel spreadsheet for a business you are building that you are putting off, proofreading an essay for school, running errands, keeping a promise to a friend or family member, researching recipes to start cooking healthy meals, exercising – in any area of your life, a tedious task becomes essential and meaningful the minute you understand the potential benefits to yourself as well as the potential bad outcomes you want to avoid.”

Julie Melillo

“Our willpower aligns with our true Higher Self, our Soul. Our heart is the critical focus to generating willpower that will self-sustain for a long time. The heart is where our passion is. The heart is connected to our Souls.

Our true Self emerges when we quiet our mind’s chit-chats (mainly conditioned/ programmed by our human societies/ traditions/ cultures/ shoulds and have to).

Finding that True essence of ourselves free from the nay says or conditions of external influences becomes the main task of your willpower. That is just the first step. Our heart/ passion/ true joy pinpoints the direction of our will. If the direction is right/ suitable to our Soul, the will free flows.

Our wills are nurtured by patience. We do not need to race. We are programmed to race against others by competition. There is no competition. There is only a natural unfolding of who we are from within. Much like a Jacaranda tree’s blooming and growing. When a tree grows, it does not know whether other trees around it grow faster than itself or not. When the season is correct, the timing, weather, temperature, and five needed elements ( fire, air, water, earth, and love ) are present; the tree has its innate knowing deeply encoded into itself, its buds stretch, its branches expand, and it blooms.

It expresses itself and evolves. If you are a jacaranda tree, enjoy and embrace being a jacaranda! Do not worry about racing against a wattle tree for blooming. Always look within first. Be proud to be a jacaranda tree, even if the whole world knows nothing about it. When we do things because we express the highest version of who we are in our grandest vision, our will flow joylessly and joyfully!”

Lynne Wu

“Always be independent emotionally, psychologically, socially, and financially.

Never be rude or point out others' mistakes rather politeness, patience and kind nature along with forgiveness have to be used to help them change.”

Mounika Burra

“Set realistic and achievable daily goals, and aim for consistency so that healthy behaviors become daily habits.

Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up or don’t always follow through. Instead, practice self-compassion and accept that we are all imperfect humans. This approach will help increase your motivation to keep trying!”

Sarah Cox

“I think it’s less about willpower and more about desire and managing your thoughts. Willpower is limited and takes a lot of energy to implement. If we have less desire (or more desire) to do something, that’s going to get us where we need to go. For example, using willpower to eat less sugar takes more energy than just not desiring to eat the sugar. So we have to change the story we’re telling ourselves about the sugary snack. And we do that with our thoughts.”

April Yee

“Here are a couple of things. Hope helps.

My tips for Willpower are:

  • Don’t take on too much at once. Try setting small, achievable goals and focus on small changes at once and build the trust muscle

  • Plan ahead

When planning and fewer decisions have to be made then eliminated being in a position where decision fatigue sets in and not the best choices are made. Yes, decision fatigue is a real thing.

  • Avoid temptation

Set intentions, and remove certain things from around you that were needed depending on goals.

Strengthen your willpower.

Try a food-tracking app for better eating. Reward yourself with other things, not alcohol and food. Get support from others a coach/ mentor.

Feed Your Brain. Listen to audible and things that will lift and support your goals” Kate Kendall

Parting Thoughts

Conclusion: Cultivating Effective Willpower

The diverse insights from the experts converge on several key strategies for fostering effective willpower:

1. Goal Clarity: Clearly define the personal benefits and potential drawbacks of a task to enhance intrinsic motivation.

2. Authentic Alignment: Align your actions with your authentic desires and values, creating a foundation for sustained willpower.

3. Self-Compassion and Consistency: Embrace a patient and kind approach towards yourself, celebrating progress and acknowledging that setbacks are part of the journey. Consistency in implementing small steps is crucial.

4. Cognitive Reframing: Instead of focusing on resisting temptation, shift your mindset to the positive outcomes and intrinsic desire associated with achieving your goals.

5. Incremental Progress: Set realistic and achievable goals, building momentum gradually to avoid decision fatigue and overwhelm.

By understanding these principles and implementing them strategically, you can cultivate a wellspring of intrinsic motivation and effectively navigate your journey towards achieving your desired outcomes.

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