Exercise Your Will Power!

Merriam-Webster defines will power as “the ability to control yourself; strong determination that allows you to do something difficult (such as to lose weight or quit smoking).” To further define the meaning, let’s say it is the ability to forgo the momentary pleasure (what I want right now) for long term contentment (what I want most).  An example might be:  Right now I want this doughnut, but what I want most is to be disease free and energetic.  These two conflicting desires must be balanced and the conductor that balances them is will power.

The interesting thing about will power is that it is a system that can function at low or high levels depending on how strong it is at any given time, meaning will power can be strengthened or allowed to weaken depending on how we exercise it.  Think of will power as a system like your cardiovascular system that when worked and conditioned will allow you to do more work over extended periods of time; or similar to your muscular skeletal system that allows you to move more of a load when it is strengthened by lifting weights.  Your will power system (muscle) will get stronger each time you use it (work it out).

For example, if you are out for dinner and everyone in your group orders unhealthy food, and you forego the temptation to eat what you see your party eat, you just made your will power muscle stronger.  In a sense, it got a workout.  The next time this temptation presents itself, you will be stronger, and it will be easier to avoid the temptations.  However, just like the cardiovascular system and muscular skeletal system the will power system can get burned out and over-worked, in rare cases.  So keep in mind that the occasional break you give your will could pay off, making your will power even stronger.  Look for opportunities to work out your will power “muscle” today!