I admit it – My will power is puny. The more I try to eat healthy foods the more I scarf down sugar laden carbs. About 3-4 days is my limit for exerting will power. Finally! Research has confirmed I’m normal (sort of).
It turns out that everyone has will power, but only a limited amount to use each day.
Research shows that just the act of resisting temptation wears out will power and we are more likely to lose the ability to discipline ourselves later. This includes not only stopping oneself from dong something unhealthy or unhelpful, but also depletes the ability to concentrate on doing something you want to do.
Rather than depend on will power, it is easier to put ourselves in situations where little or no will power is needed: Easier not to buy ice cream, than to have it at home and not eat it; Easier to put a loud alarm clock far from bed so you have to get up than to have the snooze button next to the bed that you can tap (over and over) with your eyes shut and your head on the pillow.
Reference: Switch, How to change Things When Change is Hard Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Maui’s “Mini-Tail” of Will Power
There it sat, in the middle of Maui’s path, taunting him with texture. Maui knew his human would be upset if he scratched this BIG, TEMPTING scratching post called couch.
” Don’t scratch the couch. Don’t scratch the couch. Don’t scratch the couch”
He had lost count of how many times he heard this. But every time he passed by that couch, his brain remembered how great the rough fabric felt and directed his claws to come out, longing for a manicure.
Did Maui scratch? Yup. Just like humans, the stress of resisting continual temptation wore out his will power. I can’t blame him. Maui can’t remove the couch, he can’t go outside where he would be free to scratch whatever and where ever he wanted . . .
. . . unlike me who could throw out all the junk food and not buy anymore . . . if I had the will power . . .