I’m alone. Always have been, always will be. The challenges and challengers are never ending, and in order to survive their relentless onslaught, my intestinal fortitude needs to be just as never ending. Very recently, I was told that I have no will power. By more than one person, even! My gut reaction was that it was a completely off-base, ridiculous, inaccurate assessment of who I am. It hurts. Not in a surprising way, because really, I’ve come to have very low expectations of people. Just in a piling on, “Et tu, Brute?” kind of way.
To be sure, I looked it up. This is the first thing that appeared:
Willpower may refer to:
Self-discipline, training and control of oneself and one’s conduct, usually for personal improvement
Self-control, the ability of a person to exert his/her will over the inhibitions of their body or self
When forced to think about myself and how willpower relates to my experience, what comes to mind? First of all, I don’t smoke, drink, or do drugs. Go your first 35 years without any of that and then talk to me about willpower. If you haven’t succeeded at that one, the conversation ends there. How about taking a food that I loved and ate almost every day (red meat) and completely removing it from my diet for 17 years or so, cold turkey? How about dragging my aging, pain-ridden, post-drunk-driver-crashed body to the gym 5 days a week and pushing myself to damn near collapse? Regularly stepping in a room with trained killers that outweigh, out-skill, and out-experience me by great margins to train with them despite the pain and constant exhaustion? And really, these are just a few skin-deep tips of my willpower iceberg that these Titanics of doubt would unquestionably be sunk by.
How did this even come up? Food, I think. I struggle with food almost every day. Like every average, overweight, lazy fucker out there, I like bad food. I want to eat it. The cupcakes, cookies, fast foods, etc. It tastes good, it’s easy, and it’s full of chemicals that addict me and bring me down. The difference is, as usual, I do things the hard way. I try to fight it. I don’t win every daily battle, but anyone who saw me today for the first time in a year would know that I am winning the war. The results of my motherfucking WILLPOWER are as easy to see as most people’s oversized jiggling bellies.
If the average dude out there is a 5 on the willpower scale, I’m a fucking 9.7. I’m no Super Man, and there are plenty of characteristics that I lack, but willpower just isn’t on that list.