The trouble with willpower
The change started small, but became bigger and scarier over the days and months that followed.
I didn’t accept it. I was invincible! I could do anything I wanted, if I only wanted it enough. Anything. It was only a matter of willpower.
Then Reality interjected herself. I remember clearly the moment I saw Reality unadorned by my own desires for her. My sister sounded so anxious talking with me and dropped off our phone call so abruptly, I saw that my perseverance wasn’t changing external circumstance. It was destroying my body in ways that were devastating my mind.
There, wrapped up in Reality’s too-tight embrace, I saw what had to change: me. I had to stop believing I could do or be anything. I had to stop nurturing the delusion that every single problem I faced could be overcome by my will alone.
I saw that not everything in this world is within my control. Not everything in my reach is within my control. My choice and my choice alone is within my control.
With this anniversary and my later meeting with Reality in mind, I’ve reflected on a truism I hear often:
NEVER GIVE UP!
To that I say:
Except … don’t.
Don’t give up. Move on.
Move on when you know it’s right.
Move on when something–or someone–is hurting you.
Move on when you see only wishful thinking is on your side.
Move on when something so much enduringly better for you comes along.
Move on when you balance pros and cons and discover the pros long ago jumped ship.
Move on when you see you could spend the same amount of time and effort for much better results and happiness elsewhere.
That’s wisdom, not weakness.