Hi, there! I think we’re live. Thank you for joining me again on today’s live video. Today, I want to talk about willpower and environment, and why one is better than the other, but keep watching to find out. Imagine a scenario where you’ve decided to give up sugar. You watched my video on nutrition and you know that sugary treats give you energy spikes followed by sugar crashes, which aren’t great. You just want to feel a bit healthier so sugary treats have to go. You start out strong, you’re determined, and you have more energy and you feel a little bit healthier already. Things are going well.
What happens when you arrive home from the stressful day in the office? You’re feeling tired and you remember you have that chocolate in the cupboard, and it always makes you feel better after a stressful event. I’m sure you can guess what’s going to happen. You’re going to give in and have that sugary treat and feel bad about it. Or give up. Ultimately, it’s not a great scenario.
Environment trumps willpower. Environment is always going to defeat willpower because willpower is like a muscle, the more you exert it, eventually it’s going to get exhausted and you’re going to give in.
If you’ve been at work all day, you’re stressed out, you’ve had to make lots of decisions. Your having to get home and then leave and decide between having a healthy snack and that sugary treat is just one decision too many, and you’re going to give in to it. Your environment is setting you up to fail.
Just like Pavlov’s dogs, your environment is triggering you. So Pavlov rang a bell, and the dog, when presented with food, would salivate. Eventually, when the food, was removed, and he rang the bell, the dogs would still salivate. We’re just the same. We are triggered by our environment.
After a stressful day at work, if you knew that sugary treats made you feel better, the very fact of you arriving home, putting your key into the lock, it’s already triggered in your mind that anticipation of that sugary treat you’ve been looking forward to it because you knew that it’s in the cupboard. You’ve got no willpower left, you’ve made decisions all day. You’re not going to make one more, not to have the sugary treat and to go for the healthier option. You’re set up to fail and you’re going to have that chocolate bar.
The key here is to shape your environment that reflects the outcomes or goals that you wish to achieve. Instead of making yourself a victim of your environment and circumstance, see your environment as the only way that you can change or succeed. Shape your environment to match the goals that you wish to achieve and then adapt to that new environment. As humans, one of our greatest traits is our ability to adapt to any environment. Example of this is Victor Frankl. In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, he reflects on his experience in a Nazi concentration camp in the World War II, where he says, “Yes, a person can get used to anything. Just don’t ask us how.” No matter how horrible the environment, we can and will adapt.
Eliminate everything that stands in the way of your goal. By removing all the sugary foods in your home, from your environment, you remove the need to exercise willpower. By making one decision, you remove the need to make many future decisions on deciding not to have that sugary treat because it’s no longer in your environment. You’re setting yourself up to succeed by changing your environment. That’s a powerful thing.
By making one decision, you remove the need to make many future decisions.
What constitutes your environment? Your environment is everything, you come in contact with. It’ll be your home, your office, your friends, your friends of friends, the shows you watch, the media you consume online, the stuff you read, things you listen to, and even those things which you aren’t even conscious of that you’re consuming are all influencing you and all part of your environment on some level. This is a massive subject but one that I believe is vital if you wish to take back control and move from surviving to thriving.
This whole area is talked about in Benjamin Hardy’s book, he covers this in more depth, Willpower Doesn’t Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success.
I’ve got the paperback of this, and I’ve also got the audiobook which I listen to when I’m running. I find it’s a good time to be able to consume audiobooks when I’m out there running rather than just listening to music. I highly recommend it Take a read of this book, Willpower Doesn’t Work. Changing your environment to set yourself up to succeed as opposed to being a victim of your environment.
In this case, having a sugary treat still in the cupboard, you’re setting yourself up to fail. Why have to exert willpower when you can remove item and your environment is then set up for you to succeed? That’s all I’m going to cover today. If you’ve got any questions, then do let me know in the comments below. Thanks again for listening today. Talk to you soon.
Jim Rohn puts it best. “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced daily.” Are you ready to take your life to the next level? To start moving in a new direction? I would love nothing more that to see you go from stuck to succeeding; from surviving to thriving.
“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced daily.” ~ Jim Rohn
I have created a seven (7) day challenge, for you. It introduces one new discipline I practice everyday.
“Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become.” ~ Jim Rohn
Seven days will not change your destination, but if you commit to getting up everyday determined to get from the day and not just through it, you can change the direction of your life in seven short days.
“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” ~ Jim Rohn