Sunday, September 21, 2008

BYBS: The Force of Self

one of the worst results of being a slave and being forced to do things is that when there is no one to force you any more you find you have almost lost the power of forcing yourself.

C.S. Lewis, "The Horse and His Boy"

The above quote pertains to a situation where some people were being chased by another group and were debating how much farther to go. One part thought they should keep going, while another part was in favor of resting. Long story short, they end up resting and the group chasing them catches up.

Speaking for myself, I can't say that I have ever really learned how to force myself. Being a rebellious sort who bristles at the first sign of authority, I have found myself in the situation where I need to be forced to do something but I am unwilling to accept such instruction.

College was a prime example of this: I needed to study, but there was this interesting movie or some people in the room next to mine were having this interesting discussion, etc.

There are some areas that I manage to find the willpower. Exercise and dieting are examples here. With these situations, I feel like it was that I outsmarted myself rather than showed some great reserve of willpower.

I'm also a big fan of the notion that things like this can be learned. Anyone have some examples from their own lives?


PERBS said...

I went to a boarding school during high school. Most of the boarder girls would put off their weekend homework until Sunday night. I did mine Friday night and was free to enjoy myself all day Sunday.

stev said...

mmm. interesting quote. (did they all die? ><)

do believe as well that things can be learned... with enough repetition. the only problem would be how to outsmart/force yourself often enough until it becomes 2nd nature.

try reward yourself aka pavlov? :P

Blue Panther said...

I couldn't agree with you more!

I can especially relate to your example because I am back in school and though exams are just around the corner, I can't help but watch that new movie that just came out, or visit that new coffee shop that opened recently and sells very nice coffee!!!

Hope you have a great wee ahead.

SandyCarlson said...

Lewis wasn't afraid of biting irony, eh? Great quote. I know what you mean about will power and motivation. Finding it can be tough sometimes.

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I always love when you stop by.

Tanis said...

meh. my dog is living with me again (yay!) and she's big (oooh :() so she needs a lot of exercise, so I have to walk her because she's used to being on the thirty acre farm where she can run all day if she wants (she doesn't, she's overweight). So now I have to make myself get up and take her for a walk in the morning and I have to take her for a walk in the evening (and that's propably not really enough). It's only been a week and I'm exhausted cause I'm getting up earlier to do it. But then I slept in this morning, so she's kinda po'd at me :)
Great post, Mr. Ever :) Keep it up!