How mentally strong are you?
How often are you able to overcome temptation?
And, in many cases…
Is it the right thing to do?
For decades I absorbed & accepted classical wisdom.
I question it.
Don’t eat the cookie.
Don’t eat the French fries.
“Don’t” has become the story of our lives.
What if the advice is bad?
What if the theory behind it is wrong?
Here’s what science knows.
Every time we use our willpower,
We do NOT have an endless supply.
As with all resources,
When it is limited or in demand,
It requires we use it wisely.
It requires that we strategically choose.
It’s too easy to be short sighted.
To ignore the consequences in the medium to long term.
If I resist this now,
I’ll make myself more likely
To give into something
(Equally or more undesired)
Resisting is not always the best choice.
Our willpower like our focus
Serves us best
When directed towards
The most important things.
It’s impossible to resist everything.
What will matter in the end?
What challenges are still to come?
Resisting makes us weaker.
Plus, an additional component is often forgotten.
Just because we resist (once or twice)
It doesn’t make the craving, urge or desire
Most things we resist,
We do so over & over again.
Once a thought, urge or desire
Creeps into our mind
It tends to stick –
Especially when left unsatisfied.
Meaning the very thing
We want to avoid
Keeps mentally popping up again
If not consciously,
If I don’t eat that cookie,
I’ll be thinking about it all day.
This is not to say
I advocate giving in to everything.
Obviously that’s an ineffective way
To live our lives.
But next time you consciously
Do so with this in mind –
Everything taxes our willpower.
Every thought, decision & action.
What we use now,
We won’t have later.
Smart choices are deemed smart
Only in the overall scheme of things,
Which involves a big picture approach.
Use your willpower sparingly
So, you can save it
For the things & situations that matter most.