May 7, 2019
The endless struggle
"make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction."
Today, I wish to discuss struggle and willpower. As above, the definition of struggle refers to make effort to free oneself of restraint or constraints. Everyone struggles to an extent and everyone's struggle is different. My struggle might begin as a struggle to wake up when my alarm rings and transform into the beast of its own. Your struggle could be a saving a failing relationship. It could be going to the gym, getting healthy and respecting yourself more. Whatever it is. The bottom line is everyone struggles. The next question is "Why?". Why do people struggle? Is freeing oneself of restraints a key feature that humans are built with? Why do we have restraints and who put them there? Now that's too many questions to answer and truth be told, I don't think there is a simple or concise answer. One key thing I do note with this is that struggle has to be self-imposed. This can manifest in two directions. The effort you put in to free yourself is self-imposed and/or the restraint you try to free yourself from is self imposed. Why does this matter? This matters because we ultimately create our struggle in one form or another. We have barriers we wish to cross. Goals we want to reach. Therefore, we instill effort to achieve that. Ultimately, everyone struggles but the key thing is exploring why people succeed.
An interesting counterpart to struggle is willpower. Willpower is loosely defined as a self-created voluntary decision to act. The key components of my rather loose and baseless definition is self-created, voluntary and a commitment to act. Similarly to struggle, both willpower and struggle involve the self. The self needs to create that decision without external pressures and that decision ultimately leading to an action. Put into perspective, willpower can be seen amongst many religious and secular activites. Marathons, prolong fasting periods are some of the activities we humans do that require tremendous willpower. Now when you juxtapose willpower and struggles together, you get somewhat of an interesting combination. The self imposes one to struggle and to maintain the willpower to continue to struggle. However, to put it bluntly, neither of those things by their own merit will bring you to success. No matter how much we struggle, we must accept that willpower alone is not key to the success. It is for this reason that I feel that willpower as a concept to overcome struggles should be largely abandoned when communicating the need for self-improvement. For example, if someone is suffering from heart disease and is facing issues with eating healthily or losing weight, it is inappropriate to say that this individual lacks the willpower. It is not that he has not made an effort. We can't say that for sure. We also don't know if he has actively made the decision to eating healthily or losing weight. It is because of this example that I have named this article so.
The endless struggle. We will always struggle. Like the example, I gave above. This man was not only struggling with his goals but also struggling against his own wishes. He had his own restraint placed on himself to say that he is not ready to do the task at hand. I believe that if we look at ourselves, we are always struggling. Always attempting to free ourselves from the restraints that we put there ourselves. We will fail sometimes, but if we continue to struggle against it with the end goal as the one thing that matters to us. I believe that all can break that restraint.
Thank you for your time.