6 Sep, 2022Why Your Willpower Is Your X Factor
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“When your mind is preoccupied, your impulses – not your long-term goals – will guide your choices.” – Kelly McGonigal
Are you one of the many people who easily give in to the temptations of eating sweets, smoking, drinking alcohol, buying things you do not need, or just sitting and going through social media for hours?
Do you realise that giving in to temptations only provides temporary satisfaction and hinders you from becoming a better person? To have a better life one needs to have the willpower to overcome these temptations.
Willpower is defined as the ability to resist temptations or control impulses. These temptations provide short-term gratification and hinder us from achieving our long-term goals. Having willpower along with other factors can give you a better life.
Listen in as I give you insights on how you can unleash the power within you to have the great life you deserve.
⚡️ As children, we are filled with enthusiasm about the possibilities of the future, but we lose that enthusiasm as we learn to fit into the world.
⚡️ With willpower, you can move in a different direction, but expect it to be challenging.
⚡️ You do not need much willpower if you are driven by your future self.
⚡️ The design elements of willpower include our view of the future, sleep, diet, energy, exercise, the necessity to act towards a goal, and a supportive environment
🎯 11:48 My sugar addiction
🎯 24:18 A player of the England Women’s Football Team has a relationship with her future self.
Send us a message and tell us what is your biggest takeaway about this episode. 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼
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Pete is the author of 20 published books, several of which have been best-sellers across the world, including Shut the Duck Up, Habit Busting, Life DIY, and Sort Your Life Out. He has also presented his own show on TV called The Coach and was the resident Life Coach on GMTV for 12 years.
Happy, beautiful, amazing day. It is the Future Self podcast with me Pete Cohen. Today's episode is called Why Your Willpower Is Your X Factor. I will see you after the theme tune
Hey happy beautiful days because we're talking will power. This is the Future Self podcast now with the 400 and however many episodes now we must be close to 450 podcasts. That's pretty consistent, right? That's a lot of podcasts. We've touched on this subject in the last six years, a number of times, but it's one of those subjects that I think is really important to revisit. Because for me my exploration into the human condition and looking at these things, which I think is so important things like willpower, courage, motivation inspiration belief, self, all these things courage, all of these elements that go to make a great human being everything we do on this podcast, we do it for you, which is the song by Bryan Adams everything I do, everything I do is actually for your future self. You know, I'm a coach. That's what I am. I am the people's coach. I've been coaching people for a long time. 1989 is when I started as a 19 year old fitness instructor. And ever since then, I've had a desire to just understand the human condition and as a coach and as a really good coach, a first class coach. I'm really curious, where do you actually want to go with what you have with this thing called life and life what life means that word? It means the space in between being born and dying and that's where life is. I was actually thinking to myself about how time has moved quite fast. I think it's moving fast. I don't know if you think it's moving fast. But when I think about some of the people I know and how their children now have grown up and I think wow, it only seems like yesterday that your children were born. It seems just incredible to me how fast things have gone and how time is is running out. But while it's running out, we still have time. And it's what we do with that time. That's what really fascinates me about human beings. What are you doing? With what you have? That's a very famous line in Lord of the Rings where Gandalf says to Frodo, you know, it's not about the time it's about what we do with the time. So I'm so curious about human beings in terms of where they are, where they want to be and actually helping them have some clarity around that because most people don't have clarity around where they want to be. They have clarity about where they want to be today. Like you know if I said what are you doing today or tomorrow, I'm sure you have some clarity around that. You can see it you could fall suit. You can see the future in your mind's eye. If I said what are you doing next week? Or next month, you probably know who the person is and what you're singing. It's like you're carrying the three of yourself you know you're carrying your past. You know that you talk about your past you you're triggered many times to act in a way that you learn how to act you know you have your past you have you present who you are. Thank you. Thank you for gracing me with your presence. Thank you also for gracing me with the opportunity to talk to you about your future and I'm not talking about it's like it's like you're at school like you know, what do you want to do when you grow up? I don't know. I want to be an astronaut. Don't be stupid. It's really fascinating what happened to the part of us that had enthusiasm where we'd wake up every day in many cases, because maybe we were fortunate enough where we had this natural enthusiasm. write that word down if you want enthusiasm, and then go and Google where it comes from NCOs a Greek word meaning God within the God within you, that was so inspired about the possibilities of what you could do, you could go and just the fascination of life, those wide open eyes as a child of looking at what was possible, but then of course you learned to be like everybody else and just fit in to a world that basically was giving us many messages that around, you're not enough. You're not good enough. You
don't have what it takes. You need to do this, you need to do that. So you're buying into someone else's ideals as opposed to buying into your own ideals. And that's what I'm really interested in and why willpower. Well, willpower really is the science of self control. It really is our ability to control our impulses. And it is a very interesting subject because I can tell you why willpower doesn't work, but I could also tell you why it is your x factor. And over the years. As I've delved into the subject, my views have changed and that's why again, it's important to get this out there into the into the world so that we can have this debate. When we talk about willpower, is it possible that you can consider willpower to be like the battery on your smartphone? So right now I'm looking at my phone and I can see I've got about 75% battery life about you. Now every day, if you don't charge your phone, then your phone ain't gonna work. If you don't charge you then don't expect you to work and I really became interested in willpower when I wrote a book called sort your life out. It just became the first time I really woke up to the idea. And then I started doing a bit of a deeper research into this and how realizing a couple of things which massively affected people's willpower and one of them was lack of sleep and research around this is just unequivocal that when you don't get good sleep, you will lack willpower. It basically the parts of the brain the mid parts of the brain where impulses they tend to take over. And we have this part of the brain this is quite scientific. It's called the prefrontal cortex and that basically what that does, is it keeps us on track with the things that are important to us. Our goals, our values is such an important part of of who we are front end decisions from this front part of our brain. It can't deal with too much information and the man who won the Nobel Prize in 1972 basically said the biggest problem in the world is too much information. 1972 if we all just took a moment to think about how much information there is how many podcasts how many YouTube channels videos, Insta Stories, clubhouse rooms, you know, LinkedIn articles, just this way too much information. And if we don't know what's really important, and I would say if we don't know who we need to be or who we could be. And we don't see that person as someone who's better than we currently are. We're in trouble. Personally. If you don't know what you stand for, you'll fall for everything. As Jim Rohn said, it's the same wind that blows us all. It's the setting of the sail. Where are you setting yourself? Because if you don't set yourself and you don't live a front end life or front end decision life, your brain will be hacked and lack of sleep I mean if you don't believe me, let's all go out tonight. There's all get drunk, okay? That you don't do this. Okay? But hypothetically, go out and get drunk and then eat a whole load of food before you go to sleep and then don't sleep. And then see what happens. Tomorrow. See your ability to make good decisions. See how they see that if you want to do an exploration on this, see what happens. But chances are you won't do what I'm saying. But you'll have the experience of doing something similar to this. We're living in a world I remember talking to a woman in America. She was on the phone, and I admire her you know very very well up in that multiple times. But if you drive down, you seriously will see that there is temptation on either sides of the road. There are big signs there's the big M there's Burger King, there's the Waffle House, there's everything is designed to take you away from where you are. Think of it like that, to me is like like you're on a road. Where are you going? If you don't know where you're going, you will be pulled over and before you know it, you will be eating those Dunkin Donuts
because sugar massively affects willpower and when I woke up to this, I mean look, I'm the guy who became very famous globally for weight loss, right i i was I had my own TV show. The first books I wrote were all about that. And I was fascinated by the subject but I was sold into this this nonsense around what's called the food pyramid. The food pyramid was developed by the department of agriculture in America. It was not developed by the Department of Nutrition because there's a lot of money in grains so we were all bought up right in my era, where it was all about eating lots of grains, pasture bread, rice, potatoes, cereals Frosties you know, once you pop you can't stop let's Pringles Rice Krispies. You know that what? Snap, crackle and pop snap crap and pop. And what I didn't realize is how those foods were affecting my blood sugar levels. And you know, diabetes is a huge issue. huge issue. It's one of the biggest issues in the world right now in terms of health and so much of that is reversible, but it means obviously making a few changes to our life that require willpower. That's one of the things are really your X Factor. Your X factor is your energy it's your energy that gives you willpower sleep, it gives us willpower. We all know that but it's not have I haven't slept too well the last few nights because it's been hot over here in the UK, and if you don't sleep, you just see how much willpower you have. It's like not been charging your phone and then if you eat a diet that is full of processed food and has lots of sugar in it. The way our brains are designed, our brains need sugar, right? This is the weird thing but only a small amount, like about two teaspoons of sugar in our bloodstream and what's happened to our world is we're over consuming sugar that massively elevates our blood sugar levels because if you have something with a lot of sugar in it, your pancreas fires out something called insulin to bring your sugar levels back down. But if you've met a lot, it then brings the sugar levels down too low in many cases. So guess what? You're going to crave sugar again. Sugar is addictive. It's the most addictive substance on Earth. It really is. And I know it because I was addicted to it, especially in my hour of need. But at one point in my life, I thought you know what, no more I don't want to have diabetes like both. But it meant this is the irony of all of this stuff. And please understand this that if you don't use your body and you look after your body, your body will not perform particularly well. It'd be under activated. Unable to recruit the parts of the brain that are responsible for you being a better version of yourself. Everything we do in life is really designed to take our attention away from what's important media, pharmacy, I mean, so many of the industries that we find ourselves being around they don't want us to be well and healthy. And happy. The prefrontal cortex of your brain it keeps you on track of golden leaves, but if you don't know what they are, will malfunction really easily. Does this make sense to you because I care for you. You know, we have people listening to this podcast all over the world and some people don't want to hear this because they they would rather eat some chocolate or something which gives them something in the moment which is nice but just be mindful of where that is taking you. Because as I make a bold statement, the bold statement is this. Many people today are living a future they don't. And it doesn't have to be that way. I know it's hard to get started. I know it's hard to start moving your life in a different direction. But it can be done and let me ask you this from someone who genuinely cares about you. What will be your greatest energy in your life? What will be your greatest ever achievement? See if you want this is the irony of the whole thing. Then there's there's been some great people that have done some work in this field and Kelly McGonigal is definitely one of them. I would love I'm gonna get her on my podcast for sure. She's written an amazing book called The Joy of movement, The Willpower Instinct. And I love what she says. I love what she says about where willpower comes from. I think willpower where does it come from from you remember willpower is your ability to have control over what you do in your life. And willpower comes from your ability to control your impulses. So where does it come from? Well, this might not surprise you.
Exercise, it's been proven exercise you will know this. This is the science again. But how many of you know this right? If you go if you exercise or even just go and move or just dance jump up and down and see what happens afterwards the quality of your ability to make better choices. I mean, again I remember reading these studies years ago where a treadmill for like 15 minutes and there was smoke and there were they were smoked or they were people that crave certain foods they were less likely to give into temptation through removing. So willpower gives you great exercise gives you willpower. But guess what? You probably don't feel like doing it so you won't do it. And the weird thing is about this if you can get your head around this it can be a massive game changer for you. Why does how you feel matter? isn't that important? Because it's very unlikely that your body will feel like exercising all feelings are felt in the body. Everything starts with the mind the mind has the thought the thought produces emotions, the emotions produce feelings. I really don't feel like exercising. What is that as a thought? I really don't feel like exercising. So what is the emotions that are produced? What feelings did come through those emotions and then convince convince you were right for having the same thought. So guess what, you probably won't do it because you don't feel like it. But what people don't realize is that your mind rewards your body. For when you move. It's just most of us are giving way too. much power to our bodies and how we feel that's for me that's got nothing to do with anything. In most cases. If someone was shouting and screaming right now, I'm not going to go I'm not going to think well, I don't feel like going to help her. What's that got to do? With it? Even if I did I'd ignore it because I'd have the necessity to act. And that's where a lot of people are just falling short because they don't have the necessity to act on something that they really want to do in the future. The necessity to act often comes out of a disaster. or prognosis or something difficult, rather than my necessity to act is coming out of my desire to get better. And that is not encouraging us to get better. But what is the point of life if you're not getting better? You're just going downhill. We're all going downhill eventually. But while we're going downhill Can we still go up? Yeah, can we go up mentally, physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually? soulfully. I'd like to think so. But it doesn't really matter what I think it's matters what you pay for. So the next time you don't feel like exercising, while just exercise anyway, forget how you feel. And notice what happens that once you start like Pringles is hard to stop. And then your brain will reward your body by giving you hits of dopamine. It will give it to you it will reward you because your body is only designed to do one thing and that is move. That's all it is designed. To do. And if you're fortunate enough to be able to move, move, move, move. I mean right now I'm standing up I'm not sitting down, move. And as you move, move and things will change and your body starts to come alive. Most people need willpower to get themselves to access to get themselves to exercise. That's the irony of the whole thing. And that's why willpower does work, but it needs design elements to it. If you live your face to stick our capital. Good luck. You'll just drift you'll give in to temptation you won't make front end decisions you need to simplify the battlefield of life. Because I think life is a battle fiscal is a competitive place. And this is the main part of what I wanted to share with you. Is the competition within yourself to parts competing for something you never had that experience of course you have it's part of being a human being one part of you that is saying one thing and another part of you that saying another who's gonna win who's gonna win? I mean, I don't know because I'm not you are a morning when you wake up who's going to win the battle to get out of bed. You know what's going to happen? You're going to have one part of you saying one thing and another part of saying another more than likely. Who's gonna win? Isn't it fascinating? Lord, lead us not into temptation. I don't know if Lord the Lord can help you stop you from going into McDonald's. I don't know if you can, but I know you can. Be there are people outside McDonald's praying right now God stopped me from going in here and maybe that works for them. I
don't know. But I know that you can do it. I know you can stop yourself and move your life in a different direction. But don't expect it to be easy. Expect it to be challenging. And that is why if we don't talk about the designing element and the environment, an environment that supports your growth, good luck. You know, if you if you want to give up sugar and you don't want to have got it everywhere, that's not an easy environment to live to live in. When I decided to stop eating chocolate at the beginning, I didn't want it to last. And then eventually I was ready to just make fun. I have a Toblerone. That was given to me. For Christmas last year. I'm not eating any chocolate for probably nearly 18 months. So I'm like that's pretty incredible for someone. I would turn to it. You know, in certain situations, I still turn to it but then I turn away from it. That's my choice. The power I have already have the power of grace Gaul so sorry. It's a speculation. However, maybe you can cartoon so what am I trying to I'm trying to say is willpower is awesome. But there are other elements. So if you want to move more than making make movement easy, find someone who move will move or move with you will hold you accountable for going to exercise every single day or when you wake up in the morning have your gym or your walking clothes literally right in front of you. So you have to put them on, simplify the battlefield. Remove the temptation you can from your house but this is all so much easier. When you do what everything that we put out into the world is about in terms of self. One day you will meet your future self
made if he likes us to become choose to became who I am. I was inspired by you. My future self is your future self talking to you? And about you listening. Your future self can be like your lawyer who's protecting you and looking out for you as opposed to another part of you. That perhaps just wants you to be where you are. Be who you were, that thinks who you are. is who you're always going to be can you change? Can you reinvent yourself? Can you have a new one to see your personality and all that you say yes to your personality is your ideas about yourself? You already have you are not who you are. You're not when you look back and think I'm a completely different person. Probably look different. You probably act different probably hang out with different people. You like different things. But how much of that was a choice and how much of that was that just happened as a result of reacting to life? Your personality is instituted and behavior at least you say yes to your identity. How you see yourself is how you define yourself. I am this sort of a person really? What about if your identity was was who you're becoming? This is who I am. Because if you're driven by that, you don't really need too much willpower to be honest. Because you'll just make funding decisions. It just becomes this is who I am. This is what I do. And in many cases it needs to be quite ritualistic for people. As we kind of wrap this up, I would love to think about what you take away from this. But to start from a place of loving kindness. So many of us have spent a large amount large amounts of our life blaming, shaming, complaining, just being hard on ourselves rather than just taking a different point of view because future yourself if your future self can ruin your future self would do one thing right. Just give you a big hug
last night, watch the England women's play Spain fourth European Championships. And then as her name is she's the left back. I can't even remember her name. But what she did is they interview they she talked to the camera they pre recorded this and it's her now talking to her younger self bronze. Her name is bronze and I was so inspired by herself talking to her younger self. But then I also thought about her future self talking to her right now. Didn't you think it's time for your relationship that is strong and powerful like never before? And if that's something that you want to do, I'd love to help you with that. That type of future self is all about go out there and build some wealth. Whether that's just a habit, right so bill earlier, getting an extra 1020 30 minutes of sleep every night. Whether it's exercising even when you don't even feel like it. It's just noticing how much willpower you have meditation does. Dictation once again has been proven to help people with their self control and their impulses. We know that a great life it doesn't happen by chance. happens by design. And it's time for us to design that life. She ate you thank you so much. Please subscribe to our podcast, feed yourself. And again, I just want to thank you for for being here. I bet genuinely appreciate you we will see you for another future self