A Power Greater than Will: Training Involution #89

Most people try to make changes in their lives by using brute force of will. So, when they see that I’ve had some success changing things about myself I haven’t liked, they often say, “You have tremendous willpower.”

That is absolutely false. I don’t have willpower. I have been able to harness a power greater than will. And you can too.

Do you want to change?  The technique to harness that power is is explained fully in the video below, which is part of this week’s training involution.

Cabal Fang Training Involution #89: A Power Greater than Will

1. Deck of Cards. Take this quiz and add up all your “No” answers: Have you trained at least twice in the last 7 days? Do you keep a training journal per the instructions in the Cabal Fang Study Guide? Do you set training goals and track your progress toward them using measurable data points such as weight lifted, strikes/minute, distance, time, heart rate, etc.? Do you train using periodicity and/or training cycles? Got your score from 0 to 4? Good. Warm up for 8 minutes, then consult the chart below to get your workout. Shuffle a deck of cards, take off the number of cards as indicated (if any), and place them face down on the floor. Turn a card and complete the number of reps indicated. 1 rep for each pip 1 through 10. Face cards = 10 and Aces = 15. That’s 100 reps per suit, 400 reps per deck.

Number of “No” answers Deck Size Exercises
0 Pull out 26 cards (1/2 deck) ♠ = Push-ups, ♣ = Sit-ups, ♥ = Squats and ♦ = Jumping Jacks
1 Pull out 13 cards (3/4 deck) ♠ = Push-ups, ♣ = Sit-ups, ♥ = Squats and ♦ = Jumping Jacks
2 Pull off 13 cards ♠ = Push-ups, ♣ = Sit-ups, ♥ = Squats and ♦ = Jumping Jacks
3 Whole deck ♠ = Push-ups ♣ = Sit-ups, Red cards = Squats
4 Whole deck Black cards = Push-ups, Red cards = Squats

2. Watch the video below and meditate. What is the bad habit you can’t lick, the behavior you can’t get rid of, the endeavor that keeps vexing you? Set a timer for 8 minutes, assume your meditative posture of choice, regulate your breathing, and narrow your eyes to slits. Spend 8 minutes earnestly searching for the “counter-balance” or “light” I mentioned in the video (I’m using a veiled reference to force you to watch the video!).  What is it? When the timer beeps, record your thoughts in your training journal. What are you going to do to make sure that you put more focus on the counterbalance you found? What’s your plan?

4 responses to “A Power Greater than Will: Training Involution #89

  1. Hey Mitch,

    Excellent advice indeed! I really like the comparison between “willpower” and “pushing down”—it makes me think of trying to push an inner tube or inflatable raft underwater in a swimming pool. You might, with great effort, get some of it under, but never all of it, and probably not even most of it. In any case, in light of this post, I believe instead of “New Year’s resolutions” this year, I’ll call them “New Year’s opportunities” . . . .

    • Thanks James! Maybe the way to see it is that there is a right time to push and a right time to pull…like the Taoist idea of wu-wei, or Zen “Buddha-mind, or a flow state, or as it says in Ecclesiastes 3:3-4 “there is a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build.” I don’t know, I’m still processing the experiences I had via Training Involution #88…

  2. Interesting . . . and, coincidentally, I fairly recently came across the concept of “wu-wei” in Joshua Waitzkin’s book “The Art of Learning”–in the context of Chinese push-hands, a martial art Waitzkin competes in but which I had never heard of. I looked up some videos on YouTube. In some cases it looks a lot like judo, which makes sense, and in other videos . . . well, not so much.

    • Robert Mitchell

      So there is a time to push and a time to pull — as in the martial arts so with ourselves? Yep, I think we’ve got it figured!

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