"People do not lack strength; they lack will." Victor Hugo
This essentially sums up the entire point I’m about to make. You may be emotionally toughened by life’s harsh realities, by many-a trampled heart, by too-soon tragedies, but my friend, your mental fortitude to do or not do something severely lacks. In short, your will power sucks.
In general, the will to do something could be the same as wanting to do something. However, they are technically very different. You may want to have a cleaner house, you may want to stop smoking, you may want to start exercising, but you lack the motivation, the energy, the time. All excuses. What you really lack is the true fervor and inner zest to push yourself beyond the unpleasantness and mental blockades to actually do it. I even use “want” in a loose, slangish sense because I believe that you don’t truly want to do any of these things. You feel like you need to; you feel obligated. You want it on some level, but you don’t want it the way you want to sit down with a slice of pizza and watch TBS for two and a half hours or the way that you troll facebook until 2 AM.
Humans are lazy, complacent, and love to whine. Fact. When we fall into a rut or find ourselves in the all-too familiar patterns of every day existence, the real question, when faced with the possible reality that we must change, is this: do we REALLY want something or do we simply desire it or lust for it in some part of brains, much the way we desire to one day drive a Ferrari, but know we never will.
You understand the benefits of a clean house, of not smoking, of being in shape. You think these things all sound good and picture yourself having a better life because of it. However, you do not think you are in the “right place” in your life to make that change yet, i.e. you do not feel like putting in the effort to further think about it and motivate yourself to actually do it. You are too tired today. You have to think about it more and you’ll do that later. You have to do x, y, z first. You are either afraid of change, a huge procrastinator, or just a big ole coward.
Not to judge; I say most of this in light-hearted jest. But the sentiment is still true to a degree, even non-maliciously. People do what they really do want to do, even if that means the bare minimum, mediocre, half-baked life of crap. This is not to say that you suck ass because you don’t have a 6 figure job or because you didn’t go to college. This is to say you are lame for saying you want to change when you clearly do not.
It starts with the true will to do something. You truly want to change. You are ready to invest the time and energy and mental fortitude into something. If you’re not sure or you crumble under the pressure or you keep putting it off, you are too weak at the moment. But if you are fed up with your situation and passionately seek to change, at whatever cost, putting it as your top priority, then you really are ready for a change! But you have to want it on all levels of your subconscious and in all parts of that little brain–not just the unattainable dreams, put-it-off-until-later part.
I’ve done this a thousand times and I’ve been through both phases. For instance, I want to clean out the garage and go through my room, to clean out, organize, and get rid of crap. I want it eventually, but I know I’m not ready to. I don’t complain about it everyday, whine about it on FB, or berate myself for putting it off. I simply don’t want to do it right now, but I do want it. Going to school while trying to work 45 hours a week (or more), raise an infant, and get a decent amount of sleep at night is something I want more than anything. I have the will to do it. No matter what, I have made time for it. Whether or not I’m succeeding is a subjective analysis and should be considered separately, but still, the point is that I have the will to do it.
If you are at a similar place in life where you want to make changes, but you’re not quite at that level, ask yourself why you’re hesitant. Do you not want to invest the time? Do you not have the resources yet? If you figure out why you can’t or don’t want to do it at this exact time, figure out what the next step would be (getting a better or second job to save up more money, pay off some debt first, etc). Or you could entirely re-focus your priorities with things that you can accomplish right now–getting up at 6 instead of 8 to work out in the mornings, taking up a hobby or class to supplant your loneliness and boredom, writing in a journal to get in touch with your feelings because you’re taking out your repressed bitterness on everyone.
You don’t have to do everything. You don’t have to change the world or even change yourself. Nobody said you have to. But if you’re feeling in a rut and you whine constantly about all the stuff you need to do, think about what you truly want, not just what you feel you must do. Re-focus your priorities and you will usually figure out what you actually have the will to do. Maybe you should simply focus on getting enough rest and eating right, if you’re feeling that stressed out. I’ve been there–no time for shower or shopping or washing baby’s bottles, mama needs to eat a whole meal and go to SLEEP. If you prioritize, it will come. And by it, I mean will. Then things will change.
“Mediocrity is self-inflicted. Genius is self-bestowed.” Walter Russell