“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ”
Thomas A. Edison
Will is one of the most wonderful characteristics a human being can have. It develops over time and can be trained as a muscle – every desire we resist, every time we make a decision and stay with it or we break a habit, is like lifting weights to build muscles.
A successful person is one who never stops challenging and improving himself and as a result his will power strengthens.
The bigger it becomes, the more we get from life and the more satisfied we are with ourselves.
“It’s just not happening. I’m like that!” is not an excuse. Science and history make it obvious to us that we are physically and mentally prepared to improve everything in us and build qualities and a character.
A great difficulty for my will, and I guess most of you will agree, was making getting up early a permanent thing.
That means that every single day in the morning I make myself resist the urge to lie for “just 5 more minutes”.
Believe me, I want to stay in bed more than that, but I know how disappointed I will be later. The real battle is with my mind, because my body is still asleep, but after a little stretching can be ready to get up and start the day.
My mind, though, doesn’t always share my opinion.
Then I remember how the previous mornings I did so many things after beginning the day so early, how proud of myself I was. And that is the delicate moment (refers to every similar situation where will is needed) when you just have to trust yourself.
Your mind and body feel comfortable in the warm bed and want to make it last longer, but you just have to do it.
I say that to myself and get up and I know that 15 minutes later I will be glad I did it. And so I am.
When I speak about resisting an urge, we just can’t ignore one important aspect – food.
A lot of advice on how to make our diet perfect has been given, but we still feel like little kids in the face of a simple chocolate/cookie/etc.
It is all about will, persistence, priorities… and many other things. The answer is to just remove the obstacle, accept that other things are more important than this and move on.
I don’t crave junk food that much, chocolate or meat (I’m a vegetarian).
My one and only favorite food is bread (including pizza and hamburgers, but mostly bread). Or at least it was. I loved it so much and – as you can guess – I consumed it too much.
I combined bread with many other things and thus my meals became even bigger. Actually it never satisfied my hunger, because it wasn’t real. I was just feeding my brain. It was pure gluttony.
Every time after that, even a few minutes after the meal, I felt guilty. Of course I’ve tried to take it out of my menu many, many times. I did it for a month or two once, but then it all started again.
I knew my body didn’t even need that food and it was always making my stomach full. Then, day after day, I started realizing that it has been just a weakness of mine.
The real decision was taken on November 9, 2012 – when I said to myself that bread is just not an option for me anymore. I gave it up and simply replaced it with other foods I love, like pasta, potatoes, rice, salads, etc. until I got used to the change.
And here I am now, 5 months later, not having eaten a single bit!
I know it’s not that much time, but according to my previous reactions to habits, I am sure it is a permanent thing.
Now bread just doesn’t bother me. If I’ve decided to have a cheat meal, I’ll just eat something I like other than it.
The first 3 days after my decision, I constantly repeated to myself that it was just for these 3 days, because they are the hardest (according to psychological researches on people’s habits).
Then I said to myself the same thing, but for a week. And when I had made it to day 7, it would have been silly of me not to make them 10. Then half a month, then a whole one.
What I actually did was to trick my mind. By that time, I was so proud of myself that there was nothing that could tempt me anymore.
I will say it again – I wasn’t on a diet or anything. That’s why nobody noticed a difference in me, but I knew I had fought a weakness. And now I am ready to make other changes in my eating plan, but most importantly – I know I can do it!
Let’s summarize what you need to do in order to give up your biggest weakness once and for all:
– Realize how weak it makes you.
– Take the final decision.
– Find substitutes.
For food here it’s easier because you can easily eat something else until you get used to the lack of the first one. In other cases you will have to change the whole habit though. For example if you were badly addicted to shopping, you will have to start doing something else instead that will keep your mind busy.
– Trick yourself.
Use different techniques to set your mind to just do something else.
– Be proud of yourself.
– Take this as an evidence that you can achieve everything you want.
So, what is your biggest weakness?
Update (March, 2015): Bread is still not a problem.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
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