Are you born with willpower?
So I may have been watching a little bit too much daytime television lately but a question raised on The Wright Stuff caught my interest!
“ARE YOU BORN WITH WILLPOWER?”
So I look up from my laptop when they raise this question and in my head I am screaming - ridiculous of course we are not born with willpower, it’s something we learn – right?
For me willpower comes down to just one thing – do you want to do it? If the answer is no you will have no willpower, if the answer is yes then it is possible to find it! If you really want something then I truly believe that you can learn strategies that will help you achieve what you want.
Exercise is such a good example of willpower, there are those who are able to exercise regularly and they seem to be able to just do it with no effort, it is part of their daily life and there are those of us who just can’t quite stick to it. Think about your gym membership. According to research by online accountants Crunch.co.uk, Brits are wasting £37million a year on gym memberships, exercise and slimming classes they never attend. Having surveyed 3,000 adults, it was revealed that almost £500 a year is wasted on unused gym equipment items and memberships.
Are you one of those people who have paid for a gym membership that you have not used? I don’t believe that those that do use their gym membership were just born with more willpower, I believe that they are just better at employing strategies to help them keep up their attendance and these techniques tap into what they WANT, they have found the route to WHY they want to be fit and healthy and they use this knowledge to set themselves goals that help them achieve them.
The Wright Stuff were actually referring to a new book The Marshmallow Test: Understanding Self-control and How To Master It by Walter Mischel. Self Control or willpower is all about restraining impulses so the impulse not to eat a marshmallow was tested on young children and Mischel used this research to go on to produce his life’s work where he has explored self control in so much more detail. Now I haven’t read this book but I’m certainly ordering a copy as it shows that there is so much more to this issue than my black and white reaction to the question above. It seems on face value that there are some of us that are born with a degree of self control and some of us who are not, those that are born with this self control appear to be able to apply it to achieving anything they want.
I am keen to learn more from Walter Mischel about this; in the meantime I would love to hear what you think? Were you born with self control or have you found a way to learn it. Let me know in the comments below.
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