There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
– William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
So you walk a little today, get your heart rate up a bit, you lift a few weights, you eat a little differently. Then tomorrow morning you wake up and look in the mirror… and see the same old flubber. You have to be pretty well along the path to see any significant results. What keeps you doing this simple thing, day after day?
Willpower! It’s like my dad (mom, teacher, boss, older brother, minster, self) always told me… I just need more willpower.
Really? I don’t think so.
(A friend of mine used to say that people on diets who complain that they lack willpower are usually suffering more from a lack of won’t power!) Willpower is vastly overrated. For most people, willpower ends up looking and feeling like some sort of grim self-tyranny, and involves creating an elaborate, artificial reward-and-punishment system.
Do you want to change? If so, I can show you how to tap into the most powerful force for change there is. Would you like to know what it is? Are you ready? Here it is:
Position your daily actions so time is working for instead of against you. Because time will either promote you or expose you. You must say, If I stay on this road long enough, I’ll get the result I seek. It’s not a question of your mood, your feeling or your attitude. And it’s not a question of willpower. It’s a question of simply knowing.
When you enter a darkened room, why does your hand reach out for the light switch? Because you know that when you hit the switch, the light will go on. You don’t have to give yourself positive self-talk about how you really ought to hit that light switch, or set up a system of rewards and punishments for yourself around whether you follow through or not with hitting the light switch. You don’t need any rigmarole; you just hit the switch. Why? Because you know what will happen. You know.
It’s the exact same thing here; you walk a little every day, lift a few weights, eat a little better, and leave the penny in the purse (hit the light switch) because you know it will make you healthy and wealthy (the light will turn on).
It’s the exact same thing, no different—except for one thing, and that is time.