How much will power do you have?
From young we are taught that we have to exercise our will power if we want to achieve anything worthwhile. While a lot of people have much will power, they unfortunately don’t know how to use it correctly, resulting in their not achieving their desired goals.
In order to use our will power correctly, we first have to understand what it is. While there are numerous ways of defining it, I consider will power to be consciously fixing your attention on overcoming your mind’s reluctance to do something.
We therefore have to apply will power to what we think (our thoughts) and what we do (our actions). Left to themselves – which is usually the case – our minds choose to think what they want to think, which results in unstructured and undirected thinking. And this type of thinking results in unstructured, undirected actions which do not help us achieve anything of significance in life.
There are those who believe that, in order to achieve their goals, they must impose their will on others. Many devastating wars have been started because of this faulty belief. Attempting to impose your will on others is either a form of bullying or slavery, depending on the severity of your actions. In order to achieve what you want, you do not have to use your will power on any other person or any other thing. The only person you need to use your will power upon is yourself.
How, then, do you develop your will power?
If will power has been a problem for you, start to consciously fix your attention on overcoming something your mind is reluctant to think or do. Notice that I did not say that “you are reluctant to think or do”, but that your mind is reluctant to do. That is because you must understand that you are not your mind. The essence of who you are is far more and far greater than your mind. Your mind is merely your “computer” that processes thoughts for you, in the same way that your body is your vehicle to transport you to where you want to go. The essence of who you are – your personality, your psyche – is your spirit, which is greater than your mind and you mustn’t confuse the two.
It is therefore important for you – your spirit – to start exercising your will over your mind. If you don’t start doing this, you will never get to actually do anything of significance. That’s because all actions originate in the mind.
Start to train your mind to do what you want it to do by forcing your mind to do things that it normally doesn’t want to do. These may be relatively small things like forcing yourself to get up in the morning at a certain time, instead of lying in bed too long until it’s a little late, then rushing around to get to work in time. Another thing could be getting up to give your seat to an elderly person in a waiting room when you don’t really want to do so. These may seem like small things. but they are powerful in training your mind to get used to obeying what you want it to do.
There are numerous exercises like these which you can use to strengthen your will power. They could include feeding the dog even though you would like to first watch a TV programme, or assisting your partner with household chores even if you would prefer to do something else.
By engaging in such activities, you start strengthening your influence over you mind - developing your will power. After a while, you will come to realise that your mind becomes a lot more obedient to your spirit and starts to do what it’s told to do, and that’s when you start to find you not only have a will, but will power.
When your will power becomes stronger, you are then more easily able to apply it to thoughts and actions that will take your career and your personal life to new heights, whether it be in the form of a new job, a promotion or a more fulfilling life with your family and friends.
I urge you to strengthen your will power for one reason only – to make sure that you achieve what you want to achieve. Speaking of which … Do you really know what you want to achieve? You’d be surprised at how many people don’t. But that’s another editorial for another week!
Alan Hosking is the Publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, and a Leadership Renewal Coach for senior executives and managers.