This week’s Haidong training goal is to sleep. And next week. And the week after that.
Now, before you freak out: I don’t plan only to sleep. I plan to do forms. I plan to spend a lot of time practicing things in slow motion that I will have to do at speed on Sundays. And I certainly plan to exercise.
Willpower is one of my big problems. I am highly akratic, meaning my short-term desires hijack my long-term desires, and I very seldom have the mental fortitude to override what I want now for what I want later. Haidong has been fascinating for me because I haven’t dropped it yet. Because I even put in work on it between classes. In my entire life, Haidong stands as a contradiction to the idea that I will never summon up the will to pursue long-term goals.
But enough about my trials. Here’s to some solutions:
Studies on willpower have shown two or three things. FIrst, like Magic Points in a video game, you only have so much at a time, and you have to renew your supply by staying at an inn.
You can also get a temporary boost in willpower by eating. Which, of course, is not helpful when you need it to stick to a diet.
You expend willpower when you make decisions. Any decisions. So, in order to hoard it, the best thing to do is establish habits. Making the habit itself stick requires willpower, but once it’s in place, the thing you’ve made habitual ceases to be a decision, and ceases to use your will.
Which makes establishing habits the ultimate tool to badassery. For the duration of the process of establishing your habit, you are increasing your pool of Magic Points by exercising your will. Upon completion of the process, you free up the portion you were using.
And the first habit? Well, I’ll let Ben explain it: