Choice is Like a Muscle

“Choice is like a muscle: use it or lose it. Jewish law is an ongoing training regime in willpower. Can you eat this, not that? Can you exercise spiritually three times a day? Can you rest one day in seven? Can you defer the gratification of instinct – what Freud took to be the mark of civilisation? Can you practise self-control – according to the “marshmallow test,” the surest sign of future success in life? To be a Jew means not going with the flow, not doing what others do just because they are doing it. It gives us 613 exercises in the power of will to shape our choices. That is how we, with God, become co-authors of our lives”

Essays on Ethics, p. 320