The BS Files are kinda like the X-files – full of myths and urban legends and mysterious things. I feel that it is my duty to tackle them (occasionally). Because, you know, the truth is out there…
So here’s Case #2: Willpower is a Virtue. Bullsh*t!
And other myths along the same lines: Willpower is a muscle. Willpower is “white-knuckling” or “powering” through a tough situation.
Look, willpower has nothing to do with morality, it doesn’t reflect on your character. Willpower alone will not give you lasting success.
Willpower is the fuel that give you the ability to make decisions and choices that align with your long term goals, instead of choosing instant gratification. It’s the fuel you use to delay the gratification of your impulses.
Willpower – the fuel – is the same energy source that you use to make other decisions, all day long, every day. It’s used by your brain.
Yes, you can run out of the energy to make “the right choice”, especially if you make a lot of decisions during the day. By the way, they don’t have to be BIG decisions. Could be a lot of micro-decisions. Or wavering back and forth. Or stress. When you run out of fuel, it can look a lot like overwhelm, right?
Great news: Willpower is a renewable energy source. It requires sleep.
You can also minimize the amount of willpower fuel you waste by planning in advance for things like meals, what you’re going to wear, etc. (I know you’re going to say “I can’t plan – everything changes” which could be another BS File, but for know I’ll just say that it takes a lot less energy to change a plan than it does to start from scratch!)
And don’t sweat the small stuff – seriously. Wastes a lot of fuel.
Willpower. Case Closed.