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  • Writer's pictureRowin


Updated: Jun 15, 2021

"Be free tomorrow the woes of today," one of the very first things I wrote for myself. I have a wall with various information written on it, where I can look back and piece together how I've felt at certain times, or conclusions I've reached from a certain approach and viewpoint. This one always resonates with me; probably because it has one of the nicest rings to it. It sounds like someone important once said it, like Socrates or some clever-cloggs. As much as I like comparing myself to the genius of the ancient Greek philosophers, it may seem just a tad excessive for what it is. I doubt I'll have the same level of insight as Plato and Aristotle. I can barely even figure out what they're saying in their works, so I doubt I'd be quite the scholar they were. I don't feel dismayed though; I know things that they never did. I can use a mobile phone, for instance, and drive motor vehicles. Is that cheating? Perhaps, but who cares?

The "quote" I made was when I reached the realisation that we mustn't put off things we need to do today. A very simple notion, and a rather elaborate way of putting it. By delaying these things, we're only making ourselves suffer more in the future, but that's a crazy thing to do! The future is where we're going to spend the rest of our lives, so we might as well try and make it easier for ourselves, surely. And the memory of having done whatever thing we need to do will fade away into obscurity, but the effects of being self-disciplined enough to think about our future will remain. It's a similar notion to a previous post, (which you should read, obviously), which tries to describe the concept of making the right decisions now whenever your version of now happens to be, in order to really try and get the results you want in your future.

If you have ironing to do, why wait? Why leave it until tomorrow when you can do it today if you wanted? Or some other chore which isn't really as hard as you make it out to be. After all, you'll spend the same amount of time doing it either way, only if you do it sooner, you'll have lived less time knowing it needed to be done. You'll get into a habit of not letting things drag on, of acting upon things when you say you will, when the problems, issues or chores arise in the first place. It's a mighty fine attitude to have, and you can practice it; force yourself to do things and get to grips with that self-control you never thought you had.

I've heard people say "I'm not mentally strong enough" or "I don't have the willpower to do that." In my opinion, these are some of the worst excuses to not do something. After all, willpower isn't a physical quantity. It's not like petrol for your car. Willpower is totally limitless, and the only restriction of it is the one you place on yourself. "Some people" can chop off their own arm if it gets caught under a boulder or some such object. "Some people" can perform surgery on themselves with no anaesthetic. "Some people" can work twenty hours a day every single day, just to try and get ahead. Some people believe them to be supernatural or inhuman, and although it's certainly impressive and it does seem superhuman, they are made of the same stuff as you and I. Some people find it easier to muster self-control than others, and whether this is because of an innate predisposition or a learnt behaviour is uncertain. What is certain, however, is that you're capable of these things too.

When you really think about it, what has held you back your whole life? Some people don't get much help and support from their environment, certainly, however from this moment onwards, try and realise that if you don't help yourself, it's because you haven't made the decision to help yourself. Everything you do or don't do is because you made it that way. It's a hard reality for a lot of people; the reason you haven't lived your dream life is probably because you didn't make the necessary effort. Maybe you gave up when things became hard or you had other responsibilities which took precedence, and by all means, if that's a valid reason for you, then you can't be ashamed of not getting to the place you want to be, but if you realise that your priorities are different to how you're currently living them, then make the changes you need to make. Be that person you've always wanted to be.

Your willpower is determined precisely by how much effort you're willing to put into something. Physical overexertion can be a negative ordeal, but mentally willing yourself to get things done simply leaves you with some momentum and an easier challenge next time you need to will yourself past an obstacle. Keep going this way, and all of your problems will shrink down and get easier to overcome, just because you're better-versed in controlling yourself, you know how to do it now. You can do your chores when you know it's most appropriate, you can will yourself to stay focused on pursuing that dream career of yours, you can make yourself pick up the phone and have the terrible conversation bringing bad news to someone. Anything you want to do is possible, just don't make excuses for lacking the motivation to do anything, because motivation is a force you allocate to yourself.

Don't let yourself down.

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