Willpower, Passion and Human Nature

To be honest, I am a couch potato. My daily routine is totally easy: wake up, check emails, do my work, watch TV and go to sleep. I would like staying in bed all day on weekends. In order to have a good general healthy body and make a life change, I decide to start running. Soon afterwards, I find it’s hard to force me to work out every day. I think I must make some mental changes before change my body type because if I am lacking the drive to finish my run plan, I may not succeed. The physical ability to run is only half the battle.

I am Murakami fans. I know he is also a serious marathon runner, and I also know that he even did not start running until he became a writer (around 32 years old).

I bought his book “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” in order to learn how he build this habits in his middle age. He writes in this book: When I tell people that I run every day, some are quite impressed. “You must have a lot of will power,” they tell me. Of course, it’s nice to be praised like this — a lot better being disparaged. But I don’t think it’s merely will power that makes once able to do something. The world isn’t that simple. To tell the truth, I don’t even think there’s much correlation between my running every day and whether or not I have will power. I think I’ve been able to run more than twenty-five years for one reason: it suits me. Or, at least, I don’t find it all that painful. Human beings naturally continue to do things they like, and they don’t continue doing what they don’t like.

It seems that human beings naturally prefer to stay in his comfort area. So I have a question to myself, I also ask in some community online: Which do you think people need more to keep themselves going when they’re almost ready to quit, strong willpower or unlimited passion? People give me many useful advices. One says that passion naturally goes up and down, but habits, rules etc. can continue and fill in that gap. Sometimes passion is not required because passion is something like motivation which means that you want to do something. If have a passion for doing something is your strategy, you can’t build steady habits. Because it doesn’t always work. I agree with that. Willpower can be trained. For keep ourselves going, we must focus on our attitude. For me, just choose to run, no excuse, keep it to one routine every day without variation.

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