Real or Not Real: When Willpower Becomes REAL Power
In the fourth installment of his Real or Not Real blog series, Profile’s Coach of Coaches, Chris Clark, shares his take on willpower and the steps you can take to develop the 'REAL power' you need to aid you on your journey.
Discovering true enjoyment in something is incredibly powerful. When we are motivated to do what we enjoy and create strategies so that it can happen, we are at work transitioning from willing ourselves to do something (willpower) to wanting to do it and not worrying what anyone thinks (real power). You are proving to yourself and others that you enjoy something and have the power to make it happen; not because anyone else thinks you should, but because you like it and cannot imagine life without it.
Think back through life: can you identify things that excite you now that had a different effect on you at a younger age? I sure can.
- Cleaning the house didn’t use to offer much satisfaction. These days, cleaning the house is a great way for me to de-stress.
- Other than countless games of pickup basketball in college, I struggled to work exercise into my life. Now, I crave exercise. I have to do small regular workouts on a daily basis or I feel guilty about it.
- Eating vegetables was not something I could fathom at a younger age. As an adult, I genuinely miss them if they elude my diet too long.
I’m not the same person I used to be. Despite what my wife thinks, I’ve matured in lots of ways. But, what does that have to do with willpower? It really is not connected at all, yet to most people it appears to be
When people desire to make a change, one of the first things they do is watch others. It’s easy to look at what others have done and admire their willpower to exercise, eat nutritious foods, practice stress relief through relaxation, and so on. You might even start to feel guilty thinking, “I wish I could do that. She is so strong. I am so weak. I can never do this”.
You see the success of others and chalk it up to willpower and sheer determination, but what you are really witnessing is people exhibiting real power with something in their life they enjoy. They don’t exercise, eat nutritious food, or practice relaxation techniques because they have willpower. They do these things because they have learned to enjoy them, and now they can’t imagine life another way. They aren’t better than you, they have found what works for them. Maybe you could learn to enjoy that too.
If you would like to start developing real power but are not sure what to do, here are a few ideas:
- Avoid doing things you “should” do but really dislike.
- Write down things that you don’t like to do and examine what is happening before or after you do them. Then, determine what you might change to make those things more enjoyable.
- Instead of comparing yourself to others, search your feelings for things that you would enjoy and be satisfied with.
- Lean on someone, like your Profile coach, to help you progress. (It’s hard to realize our own success sometimes).
Becoming a healthier you is not about demonstrating your strength and exerting your will over things. Even the strongest people eventually do what they enjoy instead of what they were supposed to do. Change the way you think about things and you too can find real power on your Profile journey.
Chris Clark is Profile by Sanford’s Learning and Development Manager, which means he makes a real difference in our mission to Change Lives, One Relationship at a Time. Check out the last installment of his Real or Not Real series where Chris explores the importance of making meal planning meaningful.