Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Will

Do you think of the soul as synonymous with the spirit?  

I always did.  

However, in my last post, I defined the soul as being comprised of the mind, will and emotions.  I'd like to talk about emotions later (is that OK on a Men's website?), but for today let's explore the will.  

A friend of mine and I have been having an interesting discussion about priorities.  He asserts that we always DO what we think is most important.  It's almost by default that this happens.  You may argue, as I did, that you find this or that to be very important, but you just don't have the time or energy to get to it.  My friend then stated that I don't really find those things to be more important than what I actually do instead of those things.  I then tried to factor in things like motivation and plain laziness, but there's a lot of truth here - we (nearly) always do the things we place value on.  If I find that I relax on the couch rather than exercise, do I really value exercise?  I might think it's a good idea.  But I don't really place a higher value on exercise than on rest and relaxation.  

This topic ties in with a good post about Sacrifice on the Art of Manliness site found here The Law of Sacrifice.  I could have put this under a future post about the physical based on my previous example, but this concept applies very broadly.  Do I think family time is important?  Do I place a high value on prayer or reading the Bible?  How valuable is TV time for me?  Do the areas in which I spend my time show my true values as opposed to my stated ones?  And if there's a disconnect between my stated values and where I spend my time, how do I adjust? 



  1. Here's another variable to throw into this priority/value/sacrifice discussion: EASE. I suspect that when comparing X activity vs Y activity, the ease (or difficulty) of each has got to come into play somehow.

    Let me give an example: let's compare an activity that you consider important, but difficult...perhaps exercising, with an activity that you consider less important, but much easier...maybe watching tv.

    I would bet that you'd find few people who would tell you that they consider watching tv to be more important, more "valuable" than exercising. However, it's not difficult at all to find people who NEVER exercise, but who watch plenty of tv. I think in cases like this, the ease/difficulty of the mentioned activities is factoring in. I'd wager that most couch potatoes would freely admit that they believe exercise is more valuable than tv watching....BUT....their actions would tell you that deep down, in their heart of hearts, they don't believe that exercise is important ENOUGH to justify it's difficulty.

    So...the likelihood of a person engaging in X activity would seem to be affected by two different sliding scales: important-to-unimportant, and difficult-to-easy.

    Can you think of any more variables that might factor in?

  2. So we could say that we definitely place a high value on ease or on the path of least resistance. However, some - and they probably enjoy taking it easy also - push themselves mentally or physically because there's a greater perceived payoff for their effort. I think most of us only deal with the difficult when we have to. And we often don't see the opportunity for growth in the problem.