do-work/009/willpower

← 008

There is blood everywhere.

I’m making an egg casserole for the St. Patrick’s Day party tomorrow. Because drunk people need food.

And I’m no dummy. I sat through math class. The transitive property tells me that I will need food. I’m not terribly Irish, but I’ll gladly take advantage of any situation where it’s socially acceptable to get drunk.

anthony mychal st patricks day

And the fact that I’m making an egg fucking casserole means that I’m old enough to exponentially take advantage of said situation(s).

So there I am. Making the egg fucking casserole. I don’t want to be making the egg fucking casserole. It’s late, and I’m tired. But I have to finish making the egg fucking casserole because, oh he so fancy, he has to marinate in the fridge overnight.

I make it to the last step. The one thing left I have to do, the one thing separating me from my bed.

COVER. WITH. CHEESE.

So I just have to layer this thing with cheese, but I’m a cheese puritan. I don’t buy pre-shredded cheese. It’s against my scruples. I buy blocks of cheese and shred them myself, which is exactly what I’m doing.

I’m attacking the grater with this block of cheddar like I'm trying to get a broken lawn mower to start. My focus falls, just for a second. And, during this second, my thumb switches places with the block of cheddar.

Meaning the piece of shredded cheddar I believe to be stuck to my thumb is actually — no big deal — a piece of shredded thumb that’s stuck to my thumb.

Which explains the blood.

And as the blood creeps out of the cleanly carved cove in my finger, I can’t help but wonder…

Am I going to need stitches? This is painful. What kind of nuclear cheese shredder do I have? Is it made from great white shark teeth? Am I going to be able to deadlift tomorrow? I think I see bone. How will this affect my beer pong skills? Should I Snapchat a picture of this?

…and then I remember the story of Aron Ralston.

Ralton is the climber that sawed through his elbow socket with a dull pocket knife because he was trapped under a boulder.

I suppose “sawed” is a bad verb to use alongside “dull pocket knife,” but my creativity is lacking. Ever eaten a turkey? Had to twist, turn and contort the connective tissue of the leg in order to free it from its socket? You get the idea.

One thing is for sure:

Ralston was able to Get Shit Done.


It's safe to assume Ralston was in HAVE TO world, not WANT TO world. Meaning he didn't WANT TO cut off his arm, he HAD TO cut off his arm. Meaning he wasn't oozing motivation.

Remember, motivation implies doing things without Resistance. Think of opening up presents on your birthday.

The behavior leaks out of you like diarrhea.

Luckily, when motivation is low, you aren't totally paralyzed. Because working in tandem with motivation is a little something called willpower.

Willpower allows you to do things despite the presence of Resistance. Think of eating a dog turd on the side of the road. Assuming you don’t have ulterior social motives (proving you’re the kind of person that’ll eat a dog turd), you’ll have to use a lot of willpower.

There will be a big wall of constipation in front of you, and you’ll have to grit your teeth and push through.

(Things flipflop if you’re looking at resisting behaviors. If you’re motivated to do something you shouldn’t be doing, then you need lots of willpower to withhold the behavior. I’m motivated to eat ice cream, so I need lots of willpower to stop me from eating ice cream.)


Think of motivation and willpower as opposing pistons, which create your horsepower for action. Each operates on a scale from 1-11. You need to reach a threshold of 10 in order to perform the behavior.

If your motivation is at 2, you need willpower at 8. If your motivation is at 9, you need your willpower at 1.

If you're low on motivation, willpower must be the key, right? Because they are opposing pistons?

In a way, yes. You could will your way through any and all situations. Like a baller.

But there’s bad news with this game plan.

010 →

MAYBE YOU’RE A SUCKER


You can’t fool me.

I know this isn’t your first rodeo, trying to lose fat, build muscle, and build a body you’re proud of.

But you’re not a quitter, which is why you’re here.

You might be a little lost right now.

Maybe you don’t have much motivation.

Maybe you don’t what program or diet to use.

I don’t know…

But what I do know is this:

Everything you need is inside of you.

You’re capable of more than know.

You just have to open your eyes.

My weekly column can help.

Just a small little honest note from me sent every Sunday.

Unless I’m hungover.

And then it comes Monday.

What I’m trying to say is that it’ll come Monday.

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