Homer’s Odyssey is the story of Odysseus, the king of Ithaca, who leaves his wife and son to fight in the Trojan War. Think of it as hero’s journey version 1.0 for the western world. The story has all the adventure, discovery, monsters, adversity, terror, and tangles you would expect from a modern Hollywood production. And, it’s got a powerful, western, self help message. Turns out we’ve been lovin on these kinda messages for many a millennia. If you want a bit more willpower, want to avoid face planting into the dessert tray, or whatever temptation trips your trigger, you might want to catch Odysseus’ pre-load plan.
As the story goes, ole Ody is finally sailing for home when his vessel nears the land of the seductive Sirens. He’s heard the stories of their beautiful songs, their seductive power, and the ending destruction to those who venture in too close. He wants to hear them, but only from a safe distance. So, he pre-loads his plan. He has his mates tie him to the main mast, fill their own ears with wax, and instructs them to pay no attention to his cries or struggles. In fact, if they see him struggle they are to apply more ropes to the poor guy. The pre-loaded plan works to perfection. King Ody gets to hear the Sirens song without crashing on their rocks and drowning. Very cool.
Want more willpower? Willpower’s key, you see, is to pre-load your plan. Pre-load. You know your weaknesses, tendencies, temptations, and the triggers that ignite your hot zones, right? Pre-load your plan. Pre-load your response. Involve your team of truth tellers too. Think of it as your “If-Then” plan. If xyz happens then abc is your pre- loaded response. Pre-loading works. It just takes time to pre-load your few triggers, tendencies, temptations, and then your “cool” responses into your cranium. Good. Oh, and here’s ole Ody’s pre-loaded “If – Then” plan for what it’s worth.
“If I beseech and bid you to set me free, then do ye straiten me with yet more bonds.” Good one, King Ody. Good…