“Willpower is what separates us from the animals. It’s the capacity to restrain our impulses, resist temptation — do what’s right and good for us in the long run, not what we want to do right now. It’s central, in fact, to civilization.”Roy Baumeister (American social psychologist)
Alright, let’s break down this quote in a casual and easy-to-understand way. Imagine you’re sitting with a friend, sipping your favorite drinks, and having a laid-back conversation about willpower. Here’s the scoop:
You know what’s really cool about us humans? It’s our willpower! Yeah, that thing that helps us resist those irresistible urges and make wise decisions. It’s like our secret superpower that sets us apart from animals.
Picture this: You’re trying to stick to a healthy diet, but there’s a big, gooey chocolate cake sitting right in front of you. Your taste buds are screaming, “Eat me!” You’re animal instincts say, “Dig in!” But hold on! Your willpower steps in and goes, “Not today, cake. I’m making a smart choice for my long-term well-being.”
See, willpower is all about putting the brakes on immediate desires and doing what’s good for us in the long run. It’s like having a tiny guardian angel on our shoulders, nudging us to make the right choices, even if they’re not the easiest ones.
Now, here comes the juicy part: willpower is a key player in building our entire civilization! Think about it. Without it, we’d just be running wild, following every impulse, and chaos would reign. We’d be like a bunch of toddlers in a candy store without anyone to say, “Hey, let’s not eat all the candy at once.”
But thanks to willpower, we can think beyond the present moment. We can plan, strategize, and make decisions that benefit not just ourselves but the whole community. It’s the glue that holds our societies together.
Imagine back in ancient times when people had to resist the urge to cave into every basic instinct. Otherwise, we’d probably still be living in caves, not bothering to invent anything, or care about the well-being of others. Thank goodness for willpower! It’s like the foundation of all the amazing things we’ve achieved.
Alright, let’s take a step back from history and bring it closer to home. You know that feeling when your alarm goes off in the morning, and every fiber of your being screams, “Five more minutes!” Yup, that’s willpower at play again.
You have the choice to hit the snooze button, but you also know it’s better to get up, start your day, and be productive. Willpower is what helps you resist the sweet lull of those extra Z’s and get on with your day like a champ.
It’s not always easy, though. Sometimes, we have to face some tough decisions where the short-term happiness clashes with the long-term benefit. Like saving money instead of splurging on that fancy gadget you’ve been eyeing for weeks. Willpower steps in and reminds you of the bigger picture – your financial goals, for example.
But hey, nobody said willpower is a walk in the park. It takes practice, and we’re all a work in progress. We may slip up now and then, and that’s totally fine. What matters is that we keep coming back to that awesome superpower, learning from our slips, and strengthening our resolve.
So, next time you find yourself pushing away that tempting donut, choosing to exercise, or making a responsible decision, pat yourself on the back! You’re tapping into the magic of willpower and being a champion of civilization. It’s what makes us human, and it’s what makes us great.
Odusanya Adedeji A., is a Licensed & Certified Clinical Psychologist whose domain of expertise cuts across management of specific mental health issues such as, Depression, PTSD, Anxiety & Anxiety related disorders, Substance Use Disorder, etc