Tag Archives: willpower

What is willpower?

12 Jul

(Heather’s Perspective…. PS: This blog was written almost 3 years ago… and it’s about more than willpower-to-resist-food.  Suzanne – can you see any changes in ‘that’ me – to ‘this’ me?  Answer me in the form of a comment! x)

Croissant or the apple....?

There are people in the world who possess iron-clad willpower (Everest mountaineers and Olympic gymnasts spring to mind).  Iron-clad willpower people tend to be  healthy, fit, strong and exceptionally driven.  They achieve all kinds of fantastic goals and conquer all kinds of tremendous challenges.

They are the people on the covers of TIME magazine and National Geographic… those who embark on solo-hikes to the North Pole.  Or ride mountain bikes across the length of Africa.  Or swim the English Channel with only one arm because the other arm was blown off by a landmine on the occasion when they were trekking through the jungles of the Amazon to deliver life-saving medication to previously undiscovered groups of pygmies.

And yet… for every iron-clad willpower person who flick-flacks their way into the record books – or achieves yet another awe-inspiring victory in their chosen field of brilliance… there are a couple million other people who struggle with the simplest of tasks:  to NOT eat the plump, freshly-fried, glazed donuts sitting temptingly on the snack table at their company’s latest brain-storming session.

Iron-clad willpower people don’t think about donuts.  Donuts hold no sway over them.  Unfortunately… I cannot be counted amongst the esteemed ranks of the former.

For me, willpower is this mysterious elusive, exclusive quality that seems to have cleverly evaded me… for my entire life… (we have a kitchen rat that does the same thing!)  Where does one ‘find’ willpower?  How does one muster it up?  Can it be bottled or bought?  Can it be figured out…. understood?  Prescribed?  Categorized?

Yesterday… in a temporary fit of irritation-crossed-with-self-pity…I scoffed down a pack of mini glazed donut holes from Woolworths.  And I felt sick afterwards.  But mostly annoyed and disappointed in myself – in that – as much as I’d love to be on the cover of TIME magazine… or hailed by the critics for making some kind of huge, impressive difference in the world… I feel more like a really frail and fallible individual, trying to hack my way through the impossibly thick, jagged and unpredictable boughs of life… with a small, blunt machete… in an attempt to reach my goals and dreams which lie hidden somewhere, in amongst the tangled undergrowth.  And I constantly wonder:  will I ever get there?  Or will I just be hacking and struggling and fighting… until I die?