The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. — Oscar Wilde
If I told you to stop reading this blog post right now, could you do it? I mean you already followed one link or another to get here. You intentionally wanted to read what I had to say. Clearly you’ve already continued reading to see where I’m going with this.
Could you, then, on a dime, move your mouse to that little “x” in the corner of this tab and discard this web page?
Actually, yes, you could do it easily. But don’t. I think you’ll find this post somewhat informative.
What I was trying to get at earlier (in my typical ill-begotten way) is the topic of will power. Do you have the will power, the inner strength to stop doing something you love—i.e. reading my blog—merely because you think, I should stop?
Randomly throughout the day, I will pass a bag of mini-Reeses in the kitchen and indulge the need to add fat to my stomach. However, also at random times in the random times I go to grab a sweet, I will stop and demonstrate to myself that I have the ability to refrain from eating one.
You know, to show my will power who’s boss.
Research has shown us that our will power is like a battery. For example, in the morning, let’s say your will power is at a 100%; however, the moment you force yourself to do something (say, brush your teeth when you know a mint will do the same trick), or deny yourself something you want (say, you don’t have that glass of wine before going to work) you deplete some of your stored will power.
Let’s say you’re now at 90%.
As you go through the day, using your will power to restrict or enforce certain behaviors, more and more of that battery gets drained. Therefore, later in the day, if you’ve readily been applying your will power, you will find it much more difficult to resist certain desires.
Granted, this battery does replenish itself throughout the day (and through sleep); however, if you refrain from getting that banana split for lunch, expect that it will be much more difficult to deny yourself that maple glazed donut after dinner.
For all you low battery capacity people out there (you know, the ones who kept reading this post even when I told you to stop), there’s still hope. Just practicing small amounts of will power throughout the day will increase the capacity of your will power–will improve your battery’s storing potential.
So next time you have the choice between watching another episode of Jersey Shore or getting some work done, practice some will power and do the work.
And save yourself copious amounts of brain cells and a bit of self-respect.