“Train your will to be stronger than the opportunity”
Today I want to talk about the above quote which is one of my all-time favourites. It is even stuck to my bathroom mirror. I heard this quote during a podcast and I am ashamed that I’m not actually sure who said it.
In the first part of the quote, the “will” refers to our willpower. Willpower is not just inherited in your genes where you have a set amount of perseverance and then you opt out. No – willpower is built. You have to develop it to be strong by resisting short-term temptations. Willpower is intricately linked with our habits, and we stay on course for our goals by remaining steadfast with our willpower. It is the ability to delay gratification in order to achieve long term success.
When we have a habit that we want to break, we have to rewire our brain pathways. By saying “no” to what we crave, we are resetting the mindsets that we automatically default to. For example, if you crave dessert after dinner, it is because you have continually reinforced the idea that this is the natural order. As you continue to act in a certain way, the pathways in your brain are cemented and it becomes easy to walk that path automatically. After dinner = dessert.
The way to break this craving is to, through strong willpower, start by saying “no” once. The brain will be confused, because this has always been the natural process. However, the more that you say no to acting this way, the more the new foundations of behavior are laid. Saying no to our habits becomes easier and easier. This is why the quote speaks about training your willpower. It is not an easy task – it takes a lot of determination and strength.
The second part of the quote speaks about the opportunity. This is any opportunity that may come up causing you to be less than what your highest dreams require of you. This is the opportunity to stay in bed rather then get up and go for a run. The opportunity of having an ice-cream rather than a fruit. There is always the opportunity to scroll through social media rather than do that last bit of work on a Friday afternoon. Opportunities to flake out on your goals go hand-in-hand with excuses. The opportunity to have that coke instead of water was acceptable “because I need extra energy today”. It’s simply just not good enough if you want to crush your goals and dreams.
So, train your will to eat well to be stronger than the opportunity to eat that packet of biscuits.
Train your will to exercise hard to be stronger than the opportunity to only cycle 2kms when you know you were aiming for 5kms.
Make your will strong enough that saying “no” to being lazy is easy, and getting up off the couch to go play soccer with your son is just simply what you do.
Opportunities and excuses are everywhere. Strong, resilient willpowers are rare. You have to make the decision to train your willpower like a muscle – the stronger it is, the easier it is to push even harder. Choose to be stronger than the opportunity.
Have a great day.
Lots of light and love xx