One of my personal obsessions, perhaps unhealthily so, is attaining almost perfect free will. No more of “I want to gym, but……” or “I want to study, but…… (overcoming laziness)” or ” I want to talk to that girl, but…. (overcoming shyness)” or “I want to be friendly to these new people, but….. (overcoming not giving a fuck about small talk)” I hate not doing exactly what I want to be doing, but it seems impossible to have perfect free will. I feel like my life would be 10x better if I could just do this simple thing.
Does anyone have any tips on how free will can be improved? or any other general thoughts?
Okay, I’m going to act like I have everything figured out. Just bare with me while I put on a play.
1. When you are stuck in inaction, the easiest way to break the habit is not committing to anything.
Want to go to the gym but don’t seem to have the motivation? Just do 1 pushup at home.
Want to start studying early for the exam, but can’t get yourself to do it? Fuck that. Just read one page.
What will happen most of the time is that by the simple act of starting, you get motivated to go on.
“I’ve gotten down to the floor and have done the one pushup. I might as well do a couple more”
“This page hasn’t finished explaining the whole concept. I might as well read on to see if I understand it”
And if not? Well, you’ve done what you set out to do, so job well done. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
2. With people, the easiest way is the straight way. Honesty. This year I have purposely started to force myself to be honest whenever it isn’t hurtful, and it is so refreshing! You really don’t realise how many unnecessary lies we tell on a daily basis till you force yourself to be conscious about it. And it makes things so much easier.
“Hey guys, I really suck at small talk, but I feel like having a chat with you. Hows it going? My name’s Gerhard”
“Hey, how are you. I’m feeling very shy right now for some reason, but I still wanna get to know you. My name’s Gerhard. What’s yours?”
3. Meditate. Accept yourself. Be in the present.
Thanks for listening!
I don’t think it’s possible to delay our true will.
I believe, as Sartre, that man is condemned to be free, so I don’t think free will is your problem. In fact, it’s power of will, resisting to do something pleasant when you have to do something unpleasant, that is your problem.
Your list of things you want to do but end up not doing are actions, right? Actions, on other hand, come mostly from habits. The good part is, actions that become habits require increasingly less power of will. So, even though going to the gym is hard at the start, it becomes easier if you follow a schedule for a month, for instance. All you go to do is start, don’t think too much. You may sound weird to new people or cute girls at first, maybe you’ll even laugh after doing something wrong. But try again, doesn’t matter if you fucked things up a little. Eventually, you’ll find those things ridiculously easy.