Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Willpower vs. Desire

One of the things that I personally think that I'm good at is the psychology of stuff behind fitness and strength and conditioning. I'm pretty good at getting inside peoples heads and knowing what it will take to help them succeed in achieving their goals. I spent 5 years working as a personal psychologist trainer and had to learn a ton of different tricks to employ when people were standing in the way of their own progress.

One of the things that I've been thinking about a lot lately is the difference between someone having the willpower to do something and having the desire to do something. It may seem like I'm splitting hairs to some of you, but I think there's a clear and significant difference between them.

Willpower, as I've come to see it, is a passive emotion. You can have the willpower to not eat the apple pie sitting in the fridge, but that is simply not doing anything about it. The pie will sit there and you will see it and say "nope". This is well-and-good for a short period of time, but eventually willpower will run out. That delicious concoction of apple and cinnamon and pastry will continue to sit there until you finally say "fuck it" and end up balls deep in in while watching Game of Thrones some night after work. Willpower works in the short term, but you can't trust it in the long run.

This is one of my favorite shirts from EliteFTS. Reason 1 is because it's a tri-blend and they hug your traps and lats in all the right ways. The second reason is because of the quote on the back: The will to conquer is the first condition of victory.  It's simple: in order to succeed, you have to be willing to do what you have to do.

This is when I first made the distinction between having the will to do something and having the desire to do it. When you desire to do something, it's an active emotion. You are consciously thinking "no, I'm not gonna eat that fucking pie". You're not just telling yourself "ok, I'm going to get to the gym today and that will be good", you're saying "I'm going to go to the gym and fucking crush it and make some changes".

Just having the willpower to do something isn't good enough. Find motivation (either intrinsically or extrinsically) that you need to go out and actively chase your fitness goals. You're not going to get leaner and stronger by sitting back and waiting for it to happen.

Have a good day and go lift some heavy shit!

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