Torres column: Use power instead of force
I recently got two puppies, and I was potty training them. I am not an expert in the subject, and therefore my puppies had a lot of accidents in the house. I used the two usual training methods: punishment and reward. What I noticed is they learned faster when I gave them rewards than when I was punishing them. In fact, when they were punished, they even got confused and did not know what to do when I gave them rewards. However, confirming with them that they did something against the rules also helped them understand what they should be doing.
I also noticed in my career that people get courage and motivation when there is a reward for their effort, and there is no better reward than achieving their goals. In addition, helping people understand their mistakes and how those mistakes are keeping them from getting to their goals is very helpful.
When there is punishment there is force, and when there is reward there is power. This is the topic that I am reading in a book call Force vs Power.
A train needs to be supplied with fuel to produce force to overcome inertia. As more force is produced, there is more resistance. So there is a constant fight that requires energy supply.
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Gandhi use power against the force of Britain, Martin Luther King Jr. used power against the force of discrimination, and Jesus used power against the force of his enemies.
The point is it doesn’t matter how strong force is, power will always defeat it. Force needs a constant energy supply, but power is just there. Power is smart, prepared, patient, decisive, persistent and peaceful. These are only some of the characteristics of Gandhi, Martin and Jesus.
Many times when members start with our program they come very excited to change, or I help them to become very motivated about achieving their weight-loss goals. However, when we start creating a plan, I notice that many want to use force to achieve their goals. They want to follow a diet, a trend or a belief they don’t even understand. This is why many people can’t reach their goals — or when they do they end up regaining the weight — because of the constant energy required to produce force.
However, when we use power instead of force, losing weight becomes easier. You probably have read one of my articles or watched one of my videos where I suggest finding the real reasons you want to lose weight. When you are using your whys you start to use power, because now you are not just forcing yourself to follow a diet. Now you have reasons to change your eating. For example, one of my reasons to eat healthily is I want to preserve my body young, strong and healthy because I like how I feel and how I look. I don’t let myself get overweight or weak. I don’t use force to avoid processed foods — I use my reasoning (power) instead.
Another way you can use power is by understanding your real needs rather than your wants. For example, you need four basic chemicals (dopamine, endorphins, serotonin and oxytocin) to be happy, and you can produce every single one naturally. For instance, you can produce dopamine by exercising, endorphins by constantly progressing and achieving your goals, serotonin by mentoring and being mentored and oxytocin simply by loving or healthily bonding with others.
In these ways you are using power. Or you can use force, by using psychiatric drugs, cocaine, heroin, alcohol, irresponsible sex or video games, behaviors that will cause negative consequences to come into your life. And don’t misinterpret my meaning; I am not saying that playing videos games, for example, is bad. I am just saying that making these behaviors the source of your chemical will create an addiction, using force to get what you need to be happy.
I have helped many people to lose weight, and they continue with me losing weight, and others are capable enough to do it alone after they learn how to use power instead of force. Following a trendy diet or superficially having a reward is never better than the real reasons you are losing weight and the knowledge of understanding yourself. Power defeats force.
This year start with the right program and mindset with your weight-loss program. Find your power instead of your force.
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs and author of the book “Lose Weight Permanently.” His column appears on the second Monday of the month in Body & More.
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