Your willpower is weak.
We’re not making any personal attacks on you. It is true for everyone. And only a masochist would worry about building up willpower anyway. I mean, who in the hell wants to deprive themselves of something they really want just to say they did it?
Not us, and probably not you.
The key to getting around one of your weaknesses – over-shopping, eating junk food, or even drunk-dialing your ex – is to not even expose yourself to the possibility in the first place. Take the easy way out.
- Stay out of malls so you won’t be tempted to shop
- Avoid the junk food aisle at the store entirely so chips and cookies won’t make it into your home
- Download an app on your phone that requires you to complete complex games to determine your sobriety before allowing you to call or text your “forbidden” list
We’re written about the fallacy of willpower before, especially in Dream Save Do, but it bears repeating. Because we are human, it is inevitable we will put ourselves in harm’s way again, even when it makes no logical sense.
Your willpower is weak, and even if you make it stronger it will never be foolproof. Your better option is simple avoidance, which also makes for a less stressful life.
But sometimes we forget our own lessons and need to be reminded. This past week we were feeling sentimental about our last few days in Chiang Mai, Thailand after living there for six months.
Just one last trip to the Sunday Walking Market, ok?
Warren’s goal was to shoot some more pictures of this famous vibrant market that stretches from one gate of the old city to another. My goal was to try out my new point-and-shoot camera, but I quickly got waylaid by my desire to own pretty things made in what has quickly become the closest thing to home we’ve had in almost 2 years.
I’ve been living a minimalist life long enough to know I couldn’t take a wall-sized wooden elephant carving with me, but jewelry and clothes? Surely they would fit in my backpack.
We’ve been to dozens of markets in our travels, and I rarely get this “I’ve gotta have it” feeling. I’m usually happy to appreciate and move on. But when these pretty things are combined with the sentimental feeling of a place I’ve loved and happy memories of new friends and big projects completed, I want to capture it and take it with me.
But we all know you cannot take it with you. A strong memory or feeling stands on its own without need of a physical reminder. Would your true love slip your mind if you didn’t have the trinkets from your relationship? Would you forget the day your children were born if they weren’t standing right in front of you? Of course not.
It brings to mind last night’s chat with a pushy local hill tribe woman in Laos trying to sell us bracelets as we ate dinner. She quickly noticed Warren wearing a wedding band but not me, and in some pretty direct sign language asked why we were together if I wasn’t his wife.
I laughed when I finally understood because I don’t need a wedding ring to remind me of the man I’m with 24 hours a day. It was then that it dawned on me that I didn’t need a reminder of my time in Thailand, either. It will live on in my heart and mind forever.
Though the gorgeous necklace I bought will remind me of the lesson if I need it.