“Willpower is a muscle. The more you use it the stronger it gets.”
I came across this quote on a fitness website as I was casually scrolling through for half marathon training tips (we’re still full-steam ahead on that goal!). Actually, it was the page that pops up with an ad before it lets you go to the article. Initially I was annoyed (I am way too impatient for these 3 second ads), then during the 3 seconds I had to wait to click to the article, I was moved by the quote. It left enough of an impression on me for me to take an extra 3 seconds, before moving on to the article, to screenshot it and send it to C.
I started to think about all of the choices in daily life that requires willpower. I can speak for myself, and I believe I have a good enough idea to speak on C’s behalf, that we fill many different roles, wear many different hats in our daily lives. Mom, wife, daughter, aunt, friend, employee, volunteer, room mom, nutritionist/chef (you definitely are these if you plan family meals!), Chief Financial Officer (as I call myself at home), the list can go on and on. All of which require varying degrees of willpower.
- Roll out of bed (early, at your alarm, or at all)
- Put on your running shoes and go for a run
- Take on the extra work at work
- Choose a spinach salad over your kid’s chicken nuggets
- Put down the TV remote and read a book (the Netflix addiction is real)
- Make time for faith
- Save instead of spend (we’re in the middle of “No Spend July” -more on that later)
- Say no to your kids multitude of wants in target, when its easier to just say yes
- Say no to your multitude of wants in target 🙂
- Stand your ground on the veggie situation at dinner
- To POTTY TRAIN
- To take away the passie
- To actually sign up for the half marathon
- To go to the gym after work
- To make time for yourself (as C shared here)
There are so many things that require willpower that it can be exhausting. The good news is that the more often you make these choices the easier they get. Maybe not waking up with your alarm though, that may get easier but sometimes not always more enjoyable.
With recent events, I have had to rally a large amount of willpower to remember that there is still so much positive and good in this world regardless of what it looks like on the news. Willpower to choose to see good everyday.
I have found that coincidentally, while raising two tiny humans makes me somewhat scared and on edge with the recent global and national tragedies, it also adds a constant reminder in the back of my head that I am raising two more caring, loving and self sufficient individuals to go forward in this world. It is our duty as parents to show them the good in everything and how to choose happiness in what can be scary and sad times. In our family we like to call this “staying in the light”. Even in these difficult times, choose to stay in the light and show your littles how to shine their light brightly in this sometimes dark world. More often than not, this will have a profound effect on others around you. As Dr. Martin Luther King wisely stated, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” So show your littles how to be a catalyst for light.
Holding on to that hope and optimism is motivation to endure the tough times with a willpower to enjoy and recognize the joyous moments in life.
The important takeaway is that the difficult choices in life, that require willpower, tend to be the ones you are happiest you made, after the fact. It has been said that people in good moods have more willpower, and it makes absolute sense! So keep making those difficult, rewarding choices! Use your willpower, it will get stronger, and you will continue to be happy with those choices and results!
Happy Mindful Monday!