Is it gone? Is this idea null and void? Is this word working it’s way out of the English dictionary?
- control of ones impulses and actions; self-control
- the strength of will to carry out ones decisions, wishes, or plans
- the trait of resolutely controlling your own behavior
- the ability to exert ones will over ones actions
- manifests as inner firmness, decisiveness, determination, resolution and persistence
Arguably the biggest hurdle most of us have in our lives, is to overcome a lack of willpower.
The will to do the things we want to do in life… To get that job, to learn that new language, to lose those few pounds, to get to work on time, to make more friends, to not procrastinate, to exercise more, to eat better.
It really is just a matter of wanting it bad enough. Who’s stopping us from doing those things?
NO ONE ELSE.
I seriously get the feeling that more and more people are considering this philosophy to be unreasonable. The idea that WE are the ones that make things happen for ourselves is flying out the window.
What are some willpower killers?
- Bad habits (learned from laziness, lack of motivation, comfort, fear of change)
- Peer pressure (friends going out for pizza/ice cream)
- Family history (inherited bad habits)
- Societal expectations (if you’re big, other people expect you to like something)
- Negative thoughts (“it’s not worth it… I’m not worth it”)
- Thinking that you can’t do something (even before you try it)
- Going to the grocery store hungry
- Waiting until you are starving to eat (you will crave bad foods)
On this last one, marketers prey on the uninformed consumer. They know how to make things look appealing, and they know how to convince us that we need them.
Most of us don’t take a trip to the grocery store every time we’re going to eat a meal. Perhaps it’s typical to take one or two trips a week? And, you spend maybe 30-45 minutes there? This is the time when willpower comes into play more than any other. In this concentrated amount of time, you are making a lot of your food choices several days in advance. If you usually buy cookies or ice cream, then don’t even go down those aisles. If you avoid having to make the decision (and justifying to yourself why you need it), then you won’t get what you’re trying to avoid.
Eliminating the temptation is the easiest way.
What’s the most stereotypical expression that a “good” parent says to their child?
You can be whatever you want to be when you grow up.”
This of course is in reference to a persons job, or career, or life’s purpose. However, I believe that this way of thinking can be applied to any aspect of a persons life.
Shouldn’t ones own self be the easiest thing for them to control?
We’re great at controlling things, and some of us try to control other people, but why is it so hard to control ourselves?
This is evidence that we are our own worst enemy.
Here are some examples that we are not able to control our own habits:
- Diets - The fact that people need to “go on a diet”. That concept denotes a temporary change in ones overall habits. Those same habits which got them to be the person they are now… a person that needs to go on a diet. Which therefore means that when the diet is over, or the results are achieved (how often does that happen?), then the previous lifestyle will return.
- Drugs - The weight loss drug industry makes literally billions of dollars off of people’s lack of willpower. Does anyone seem to think that diet pills work? Are drugs the answer? Do drugs erase bad habits? Do drugs make people exercise? Do drugs change poor food choices? The funniest thing is, almost every diet drug product says in fine print, “To be used along with a healthy diet, and regular exercise.”
Uh, Diets? Psshhht… Yeah, they don’t work!”
All diets? Let’s crack open the dictionary again.
- The usual food and drink of a person or animal.
- A regulated selection of foods, as for medical reasons or cosmetic weight loss.
- Something used, enjoyed, or provided regularly.
- To eat sparingly, for health reasons or to lose weight.
- Food and drink regularly provided or consumed.
- Habitual nourishment.
By these definitions, a person that says that diets don’t work is saying that there is no possible way a person could eat that would result in a loss of excess fat, and better health.
If the meaning of this phrase is that “diets don’t work because you can’t stick to them”, then what is the reason for that? LACK - OF - WILLPOWER.
Uh… Oh, yeah. It’s that simple. Like I can just “will” myself to eat better. Right.”
Yup. It’s your hand putting the food in your mouth.
Skeptics of willpower:
Anyone that thinks that willpower is not enough to make a big change in their life, is guilty of one or both of the following:
- Giving up on themselves
- Always coming up with an excuse as a gut response to any criticism
If you want to eat better, then why don’t you?
I’m not saying it’s easy… but it is simple.
NIKE said it best. Just do it.
Oh, but I…
But I don’t have time…
I don’t know how to cook…