Willpower Doesn’t Work (Alone)
I recently finished a new book by Benjamin Hardy titled Willpower Doesn’t Work: Discover the Hidden Secrets to Success*
I have to admit, I am not sure that the contents of this book are “Hidden Secrets to Success” as they are some really great principals and suggestions to help you make change.
Benjamin is absolutely correct when he titled this book Willpower Doesn’t Work. IT DOESN’T!
Anyone that feels that they can just change their Type II Diabetes by just willing it to be so forgot how they got to be a Type II Diabetic in the first place.
I know in my situation, it took years of bad eating and poor exercise to put me into the hospital. If I could have changed my eating habits or continued to exercise just because I wanted (or willed) it, I would have never developed Type II Diabetes.
Only So Much
I have read so many studies now that talk about the amount of willpower one person has and how that willpower is drained through out the day as we make decisions or resist a myriad of temptations.
Getting out of bed early this morning, used up some of that willpower.
Skipping a donut at the office break room at lunch, used up some of that willpower.
Talking your kids out of stopping at that fast food restaurant for dinner, used up some of that willpower.
It is no wonder that by 7-8 PM on any one weekday I am starving for some ice cream, cookies anything loaded with simple carbohydrates. Why? I have used up all my willpower and I am ready to give in to my temptations.
Nature versus Nurture
So, what should I do? You only have so much willpower and once it’s gone you will give into your temptations much easier. Benjamin talks a lot in the book about nature versus nurture. Normally, this discussion is mostly about raising children when people try to figure out what raises better children? The enviroment they live in (nature) or the behaviors of their parents (nurture).
For Benjamin’s book he shows that when it comes to willpower, nature (your enviroment) is far better than nurture (your willpower levels).
Benjamin shows how changing your enviroment removes the needs for willpower helping you to save your willpower for times that you need it more.
The more I thought about what Benjamin expressed in his book, the more I realized this isn’t a “hidden secret” but a great habit to develop as a Diabetic and even before.
If you do not have any sweets in the house, no willpower is needed to avoid those late night simple carbohydrate urges.
If you do not drive home past that fast food restaurant, no willpower needed to avoid the discussion with the kids.
You can also focus more at the cooler, rather than the break room, no willpower needed to avoid those donuts.
Everything that we do or interact with can be changed just slightly to make our enviroment easier to avoid temptations and save our willpower. Design your enviroment to make these types of choices easier and reduce the amount of willpower needed.
Benjamin has some excellent ideas and ways to get this accomplished and I would suggest that you his book to understand what they are. He explains them much better than I can, plus he provides detailed study information to support why each principal is important.
Do you ever find your willpower lacking? Share your last experience where willpower failed you?
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