Discovering true enjoyment in something is incredibly powerful. When we are motivated to do what we enjoy and create strategies so that it can happen, we are at work transitioning from willing ourselves to do something (willpower) to wanting to do it and not worrying what anyone thinks (real power). You are proving to yourself and others that you enjoy something and have the power to make it happen; not because anyone else thinks you should, but because you like it and cannot imagine life without it.
Think back through life: can you identify things that excite you now that had a different effect on you at a younger age? I sure can.
- Cleaning the house didn’t use to offer much satisfaction. These days, cleaning the house is a great way for me to de-stress.
- Other than countless games of pickup basketball in college, I struggled to work exercise into my life. Now, I crave exercise. I have to do small regular workouts on a daily basis or I feel guilty about it.
- Eating vegetables was not something I could fathom at a younger age. As an adult, I genuinely miss them if they elude my diet too long.
I’m not the same person I used to be. Despite what my wife thinks, I’ve matured in lots of ways. But, what does that have to do with willpower? It really is not connected at all, yet to most people it appears to be.
When people desire to make a change, one of the first things they do is watch others. It’s easy to look at what others have done and admire their willpower to exercise, eat nutritious foods, practice stress relief through relaxation, and so on. You might even start to feel guilty thinking, “I wish I could do that. She is so strong. I am so weak. I can never do this”.
You see the success of others and chalk it up to willpower and sheer determination, but what you are really witnessing is people exhibiting real power with something in their life they enjoy. They don’t exercise, eat nutritious food or practice relaxation techniques because they have willpower. They do these things because they have learned to enjoy them, and now they can’t imagine life another way. They aren’t better than you, they have found what works for them. Maybe you could learn to enjoy that too.
If you would like to start developing real power but are not sure what to do, here are a few ideas:
- Avoid doing things you “should” do but really dislike.
- Write down things that you don’t like to do and examine what is happening before or after you do them. Then, determine what you might change to make those things more enjoyable.
- Instead of comparing yourself to others, search your feelings for things that you would enjoy and be satisfied with.
- Lean on someone, like a Profile coach, to help you progress. (It’s hard to realize our own success sometimes).
Becoming a healthier you is not about demonstrating your strength and exerting your will over things. Even the strongest people eventually do what they enjoy instead of what they were supposed to do. Change the way you think about things and you too can find real power on your journey.
Profile Learning & Development Manager, Profile by Sanford
After spending 15 years teaching mostly physical education with some Social Science and coaching girls’ basketball, Chris Clark joined Profile by Sanford to build the Coach Certification and Continuing Education program. Chris has worked at Profile for over five years supporting coaches’ understanding of how to deliver the Profile program to its members. Over that time, he has observed that reality is often misunderstood when it comes to one’s health. Much is written or recorded on what people are “supposed to” do to achieve health and wellness. Anytime “supposed to” replaces “what I really want to do”, behavior change is compromised. The Real/Not Real series is an attempt to explore that concept.
Profile by Sanford is a weight loss plan that is focused on nutrition, activity and lifestyle coaching as it relates to your individual profile. It is backed by Sanford Health, an international integrated health care system that provides care to hundreds of communities across multiple continents. Profile was developed by some of Sanford’s top scientist, researchers and physicians.
Learn more about Profile by Sanford here.
Latest posts by Chris Clark
- When Willpower Becomes Real Power - July 10, 2018