Imagine having a sound workout plan, a personal trainer and a great diet plan. Everything is going fine for you. And you eat your veggies and run your miles without a hitch. Then one day work gets tougher, you catch the flu, a friend visits from overseas, your second kid comes along (insert epic event here) and an hour to the gym or out running seems impossible to fit in. Gradually the weight you lose gets piled on plus more, you think its a hard uphill struggle and start getting lazy and getting back on track seems quite tough and less important that urgent things that are pressing on you. So eventually you give up, and you think that probably you didn’t have the willpower to work out or that its not your thing.
Sounds familiar ? This is the thing that everyone faces, and it’s called giving up. We all have big dreams and aspirations when we set out in life and on fitness programs, but as we face huge obstacles and things that prevent is from achieving them, we somehow crash and burn and drop out, sometimes never trying again. Sometimes, we look down and curse at our willpower and weakness of the flesh, and at times wish we were made of tougher stuff and had more mettle in us. This is the biggest MISTAKE.
We see willpower as an attribute, that some are born with and some do not have enough. And that it comes in finite amounts, unchangeable. That if we fail once, we would probably fail again cause we would give up again due to lack of willpower. They usually see willpower as a godly attribute, out of their reach when they do not succeed and in their grasp when they do. People with willpower tough it through tough times and temptation and those that don’t do not have enough willpower. That’s further from the truth, so far that its actually a LIE.
Let’s make a few distinctions here, willpower is not something a greater man has (though they would like to believe so as to give their ego an artificial boost) , a person isn’t more successful than you because he has greater willpower. It’s a great lie propagated by the fact that I would like to tell myself that I have more control over my desires and wishes and willpower and therefore i am greater. We attribute it to this mystifying attribute that is an admirable trait, sometimes people use it blatantly like when we say “I have more willpower than most people, therefore I am better”.
But what is willpower ? We use it alot, but do we understand it ? We seem to think that the greater man has willpower to accomplish anything and bend it to their will. However, it is scientifically proven (I will highlight more in Part II) that there’s no such thing as willpower, and that the feats of willpower that people perform are actually accomplished by correct motivation as well as a proper plan to do things.
“Mediocrity is self-inflicted. Genius is self-bestowed.” Walter Russell
Willpower is a combination of technique and motivation both of which can be learnt. Willpower is not a inborn trait that either we have and do not have, and it’s a EXCUSE to say that we fail because we do not have enough willpower. We fail because we never motivated ourselves enough and didnt have a proper plan to execute. Its easy to blame something that’s not within our reach like when we wish we were taller/better looking/ect and attribute it to genetics and something but we cant change. But alot of things can be changed and “willpower” is one of them.
- Chocolate and Willpower (lessonsfromtheendofamarriage.com)
- Discipline and Willpower (vibrantskin.wordpress.com)
- Willpower (recruitinganimal.typepad.com)