In any great human endeavor, a consistent and disciplined effort is required to achieve better results. Putting in the work every day, making it a habit, and refining your knowledge and skills will ultimately make you a better version of whatever it is you are trying to emulate. Your health is no different.
But what happens if you don’t want to put in that effort consistently, and you’d rather be a spectator? What if you’d rather be couch surfing, eating potato chips, and watching “American Idol” than going for a hike, eating kale chips, and watching the sunset?
Well, in that scenario you will need to rely on willpower to make any progress in your health, a characteristic that 99.99 percent of people will never be able to execute consistently for long enough to ever garner serious results.
This is why there are so many 10-day juicing protocols, weight loss shakes, detox kits, patches, medications, and other quick-fix solutions to your health problems.
The industry knows that most don’t have enough discipline to do anything more. They know you don’t really want to change your entire lifestyle, and your short-lived willpower will make the short-term and easy solutions look as appetizing as that ice cream after a long day at the beach.
The only way to make these marketing gimmicks and roller coaster results go away is to develop a different kind of power, one that is anchored in something more sustaining than your fleeting desire to look good in that wedding dress. One, that if done properly, will always be there when you need it, and will rarely feel like a chore.
While willpower relies on the fickle ego, which can change its mind in any instant for immediate gratification from the next shiny thing, “why power” relies on your raison d’être (why you’re here)—your true self, your spirit, your responsibility to yourself and to the others that rely on you. Why power is anchored in your heartstrings, a burning passion, and a lifelong commitment to do the thing that will bring you the most joy and happiness throughout your life.
So when you see the rare person who accomplishes a heroic feat, whether it is reaching the podium at the Olympics, taking a walk every day, meditating consistently, or making fresh-pressed juice daily, you can be sure that they are very strong on their why power and left the willpower to those that don’t know what they want out of their life.
Common “whys” are just to feel better daily; to be a highly functional spouse, parent, co-worker, or business partner; or to simply live the best life with your body, mind, and spirit vibrating at optimal levels.
If you don’t know what your why is yet, you’ll need to focus on willpower, which will be a daily battle and will typically result in multiple failures. This is mostly because you won’t be one of the .01 percent who are able to do it consistently enough to stay well, but also because a life without a why is lackluster in comparison to living a dream, no matter how big it is deemed by the masses.
So which works better when it comes to your health? As anyone who has achieved true health can tell you, especially in the face of a daunting health situation, consistency in doing the right things is what will have the ultimate value to your health. This daily discipline won’t come from willpower, which is a fair-weather friend. Rather, it will come from your burning desire, your purpose, your heart, and your why power.
And this is why you need to ponder the reason you want to be healthy, so you can tap into the unwavering support of a soul filled with desire, to achieve a life of rock-solid health and happiness (which inevitably go together).
I know you can do it, and why it will lead to something greater than you’ve ever imagined. And if you need any help, through specific lifestyle guidance, nutrition, mindset, and daily support, check out the THRIVE Online Health Program. It may be the solution to living the life you so strongly desire.
Derek Henry is the founder of Healing the Body and the THRIVE Online Health Program. This article was originally published on HealingTheBody.ca