Willpower is like a muscle

I read an article on Yahoo! titled “Supercharge Your Willpower” (Healthy, 2012). The author discussed in the article, how to make use of the Kaizen methodology to improve one’s life and overcome bad habits. Kaizen is a Japanese word that means continuous improvement. Furthermore the author mentioned that willpower is comparable to a muscle. The author advised his readers to slowly strengthen their willpower. After all bad habits are not formed overnight and therefore it is not realistic to expect to break them overnight.

I can think of a couple of analogies to exemplify what the author meant. For one losing weight is a comparison that most people can identify with. It is interesting to see, how many people want to lose weight quickly; even though it took them months or even years to put that weight on. The result is the dieter falls back to his old eating habits and might even gain more weight than he or she initially lost. However by slowly changing one’s eating habits and adopting a healthy lifestyle, it would be possible to lose weight and keep it off too.

Another analogy which I can personally identify with is of building up stamina. I was on the Track and Field team in Secondary School and stamina was very important for a long distance runner. Stamina can only be increased gradually and with constant exercise.

On the factual level I understand what the author is trying to say. However, knowing does not immediately translate into doing. Ever heard of the saying, “Too many irons in the fire”? Currently I am aiming to accomplish many different things at the same and I overstrained my willpower two weeks ago. I started the week well with a list of To Dos but my To Dos covered all the areas I wanted to work on in my life. In the end, I kind of ran out of steam by Thursday and from Friday onwards I did not have the willpower to overcome my procrastination successfully. This week wasn’t much better either. I am afraid I burnout after less than a month all because of my impatience.

But I will not give up. Awareness is the first step, I will change my ways by making use of the Kaizen approach. I will continuously build up my willpower to accomplish things instead of only dreaming of doing things.

Healthy, J. (2012, January 12). Yahoo! Retrieved January 28, 2012, from http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/supercharge-willpower-easy-way-185600818.html

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