>Off the Beaten Path>Willpower
Cheap and Evil Girl
I didn't know where to put this topic, since it could apply to pretty much anything in life.
I just finished a book by Augusten Burroughs called "This Is How." If you aren't familiar with his writing, he has written a couple books on his life, he has had it pretty rough. And along the way he learned quite a bit so he wrote this book on how to deal with life.
He had a chapter on willpower and in it he had some great things to say. Here is a section I found especially true. He was talking about weight loss, but I think the idea can be applied to anything in life you are trying to accomplish.
"If willpower is required to achieve this goal, that's how you know you don't want it enough on a deep, organic level.
Mechanical failure will eventually occur.
Willpower is like holding your breath: you can only do it for so long.
Which is exactly why will powering your way through to this won't work. Can you name a single example in your life of when you ever needed willpower to get something you really, really needed?
If you are trapped in a car underwater, you will not need willpower to roll down the window. You will feel only one thing: the need for air. You will start trying to roll down that window and either you will roll it down or you will die trying.
Where there is willpower there is a Bandaid that's eventually going to fall off.
You only need willpower to get what you don't want or only want to want. By want to want, I mean something you wish you wanted. But don't, really.
If you find that you require willpower to lose weight, you aren't ready to lose the weight. There you have the truth, as much as you may despise hearing it.
You don't want it deeply and completely enough.
Something within you is reserved in the matter.
This is what you need to solve. You need to know where that voice of dissent is coming from."
I just thought this was very insightful concept, especially for people who have a hard time motivating themselves. I used to have a hard time getting myself out the door to go run. About three years ago something changed for me and I no longer had to use willpower to get through my workouts, I just really wanted to do them. It has become my favorite part of the day. I can't remember the last time I woke up and really, really just didn't want to run. So after reading this passage Burroughs wrote, I can understand what that process was. Pretty neat.
I like it.
Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.
Pretty much. If you want to do something, you'll do it, if not, you'll make excuses.
My running blog
2015 Goals | sub-18 5k | sub-37 10k | sub-1:23 HM | sub-4 trail 50k
Thank you for posting that.
Bill Wagnon / stl
Some people think I'm "disciplined" in doing some of the things I do. No, not really. Not at all. I just do what I want. If their wants were the same, they would be doing it too.
pace sera, sera
I am a Augustien Burroughs fan also, though I haven't read this particular book. My first response to this excerpt was anger, which is logical because it hits a little too close to home. I keep losing and regaining the same weight over and over again, I just can't "hold out" for more than 12 months or so. On the bright side, I've been running for a few years now, and don't struggle with it like I do with food. I must want to to run "deeply and completely enough" to keep with it.
That's an interesting insight coming from Augusten Burroughs. I wonder how that jives with his alcoholism and how he got sober.
Chasing the bus
I don't necessarily agree with everything this implies, but it feels right, and I can see evidence of it in my past failures and successes.
The real question, though, becomes, how do I turn what I want to want, that is, what's good for me, into something I really, deeply want?
For most people, this seems to come at some low point, when they see that what they have been doing is now immediately unsustainable. I want to find it before that, so I don't have to hit "rock bottom". It's also useful for that transition from "I must do this to save my life", to "I can afford to skip this today, 'cause I'm doing ok", which can quickly devolve into regression.
So, the real trick, as I see it, is to find that "algorithm" to bring your real, deep desires in line with what you want to want, and make this a system that is repeatable.
“You're either on the bus or off the bus.” ― Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
Interval Junkie --Nobby
Can you name a single example in your life of when you ever needed willpower to get something you really, really needed?
Marathon 1. Marathon 2. And all the training leading up to both of my marathons.
Did I "need" to run a marathon? No. Did it take a lot of willpower to go out in the pouring winter rain at 5am? f-yes.
When your long-term desires overpower your short-term desires: that's called Willpower.
His version seems only tautologically true.
2014 Goals: sub-3 Marathon
Current Status 11/10: Back to building up miles. Junk feels mostly okay. Kinda.
That is definitely the question. I've been wondering the same thing for some time now. I had been overweight most of my adult life, even while in the military, and it only got worse when I got out. I tried, and failed, several times to lose weight. I still can't put my finger on what made it click for me this time around. I know the moment that got me started, it was losing 19lbs in two weeks after having my tonsils removed. I looked in the mirror and could see the change, that motivated me to keep going. But I still don't know why/how I managed to stick with it and turn it into my new lifestyle. Altho, I guess that's part of the answer, at least for me, I stopped looking at it as something temporary and fully embraced it as how I was going to live the rest of my life.