Will Power and Self Discipline
The possession of willpower and self discipline or their lack, play an important role in everyone’s life. For example, you wish to go for a walk, knowing how good it is for your health and how wonderful you feel afterwards, but you feel too lazy, and prefer to watch TV instead. You might be aware of the fact that you need to change your eating habits or stop smoking, but you don’t have the inner power and persistence to change these habits.
Does this sound familiar? How many times have you said, “I wish I had will power and self discipline”? How many times have you started to do something, only to quit after a short while? We all have had experiences like these.
Everyone has a few habits they wish they could get rid of, such as smoking, excessive eating, laziness, procrastination or lack of assertiveness. To overcome these habits or addictions, one needs a certain degree of willpower and self discipline. Their possession makes a great difference in everyone’s life, bringing to the fore inner strength, self mastery and decisiveness.
Definitions of Will Power and Self Discipline
Will power is the ability to overcome laziness and procrastination. It is the ability to control or reject unnecessary or harmful impulses. It is the ability to arrive at a decision and follow it with perseverance until its successful accomplishment. It is the inner power that overcomes the desire to indulge in unnecessary and useless habits, and the inner strength that overcomes inner emotional and mental resistance for taking action. It is one of the corner stones of success, both spiritual and material.
Self-discipline is the companion of will power. It endows the one possessing it with the stamina to persevere in whatever he or she does. It bestows the ability to withstand hardships and difficulties, whether physical, emotional or mental. It grants the ability to reject immediate satisfaction, in order to gain something better, but, which requires effort and time.
Everyone has inner, unconscious, or partly conscious impulses, making them say or do things they later regret saying or doing. On many occasions people do not think before they talk or act. By developing these two powers, one becomes conscious of the inner, subconscious impulses, and gains the ability to reject them when they are not for his/her own good.
These two powers help us to choose our behavior and reactions, instead of being ruled by them. Their possession won’t make life dull or boring. On the contrary, you will feel more powerful, in charge of yourself and your surroundings, happy and satisfied.
How many times have you felt too weak, lazy or shy to do something you wanted to do? You can gain inner strength, initiative and the ability to make decisions and follow them. Believe me, it is not difficult to develop these two powers. If you are earnest and are willing to become stronger, you will certainly succeed.
In this article, you will find some exercises and techniques for developing these abilities. These simple, but effective exercises, can be performed everywhere and at any time. Go slowly and gradually, and you will see how you get stronger and your life start improving.
There is a misconception in the public mind regarding will power. It is erroneously thought to be something strenuous and difficult, and that one has to exert and tense the body and mind when expressing it. It is a completely wrong concept. This is one of the reasons why people avoid using it, though they are conscious of its benefits. They acknowledge the fact that the employment of will power in their life and affairs will greatly help them, and that they need to strengthen it, yet they do nothing about it.
Will power gets stronger by holding back and not allowing the expression of unimportant, unnecessary and unhealthy thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions. If this saved energy is not allowed expression, it is stored inside you like a battery, and it becomes available at the time of need. By practicing appropriate exercises, you develop your powers the same way, as a person who trains his/her muscles in order to strengthen them.
Developing Will Power and Self Discipline
An effective method for developing and improving these abilities is to perform certain actions or activities, which you would rather avoid doing due to laziness, procrastination, weakness, shyness, etc. Doing things that you usually do not like to do. or feel too lazy to do, you overcome your subconscious resistance, train your mind to obey you, strengthen your inner powers and gain inner strength. Muscles get stronger by resisting the power of the barbells. Inner strength is attained by overcoming inner resistance.
Remember, strengthening one of these abilities, automatically strengthens the other one.
Here are a few exercises:
Never say that you cannot follow the above exercises, because you certainly can. Be persistent no matter what. Motivate yourself by thinking about of the importance of performing the exercises, and the inner power and strength you will gain.
Attempting too many exercises when you are still a beginner, might end in disappointment. It is better to start with a few easy exercises at first, and then gradually increase their number and move to the more difficult exercises.
Most of these exercises can be practiced anywhere and at anytime, which means that you don’t have to devote special times for them. They will help you develop your willpower and self discipline, enabling you to use them whenever you need them.
If you practice weight lifting, running or aerobics, you strengthen your muscles, so that when you need to move or carry something heavy, for example, you have the strength for it. By studying French each day, you will be able to speak French when you travel to France. It is the same with will power and self-discipline; by strengthening them, they become available for your use whenever you need them.
If for the sake of an exercise, you stop doing something that you usually do, and overcome the inner resistance concerning it, you may resume doing it, if it is not harmful. For example, if you love drinking orange juice, and for the sake of an exercise you switch to drinking apple juice, after doing so for some time, and after it makes no great difference to you, you may go back to drinking orange juice, if you still like it. The point here is to develop inner strength, not making life difficult for you or continue doing things you don’t like to do.
Benefits of Possessing Will Power and Self Discipline
You need these skills to control your thoughts, improve your concentration, and to become the boss of your mind. The stronger these skills are, the more inner strength you possess.
Being the master of your mind you enjoy inner peace and happiness. External events do not sway you, and circumstances have no power over your peace of mind. This might sound too unreal for you, but experience will prove to you that all the above is true.
These skills are vital for achieving success. They give you more control over your life, help you change and improve habits, and are essential for self improvement, spiritual growth and meditation.
Practice the exercises presented here earnestly and persistently, and your life will start changing.
Willpower – Your Inner Strength
Willpower is the inner strength and the inner engine that propels towards success and achievement. It is the power that pushes into action in every area of life. Willpower is one of the most important and desirable inner powers, and its lack or presence determines whether you will fail or accomplish your desires and ambitions and attain success.
Willpower is erroneously considered as a quality belonging only to highly successful people, who depend on strength and force to achieve their goals. The truth is that it can be developed by everyone, and it is important, useful and desirable in the small affairs of life, as it is in the achievement of major goals.
If you usually feel too lazy, developing your inner strength will help you to overcome this laziness. If you usually procrastinate, possess low self-esteem, feel weak and vulnerable or lack self-control, strengthening this power will help you too.
Willpower, which is inner strength, manifests as the ability to control unnecessary and harmful impulses. It also manifests as the ability to decide, abide by this decision, and follow it with perseverance until its successful accomplishment. This ability gives you the courage and strength to endure and overcome inner and outer resistance and opposition, difficulties and hardships.
There are many who lack the inner strength to say “no”. Others find it difficult to follow and assert their ideas and beliefs. Some are afraid to take action and make changes or they lack resolution and the persistence to go on with their plans to the end. A strong power of the will can change all this.
It is the right and privilege of everyone to develop this ability. Everyone can develop it to a greater or smaller extent, depending on the desire, earnestness, ambition and time devoted to developing and strengthening this inner power.
In many of my other articles, and in the book “Will power and self discipline”, I have emphasized the importance of developing this ability, and showed how to do that. You do not require super ordinary powers to develop it. You do not need to sleep on a bed of nails, fast or stand on one foot for days, as fakirs do. The concept that the development of willpower requires you to undergo suffering and physical mutilation is not true.
Developing willpower and inner strength is a gradual process that everyone can undertake. Some will be able to reach higher levels of power, while others will reach different degrees of development, but the way is open to all.
You will have to give up some unnecessary and harmful pleasures and change some unhealthy habits, but this is for a higher good. You give up something harmful or useless, in order to gain strength and power that will help you in every area of your life. In fact, the whole process can be turned into an absorbing, enjoyable and interesting challenge.
Training and exercising your willpower will fill you with strength, courage, and assertiveness. As your power grows, it will be easier for you to get rid of habits and attitudes that stand in your way to a better life. You will gain inner strength that will help you at your job and at home, in your relationships, with carrying on your tasks and with accomplishing your ambitions.
Developing Your Inner Strength
How many times have you wished you had more inner strength, willpower or self discipline?
How many times you lacked enough persistence and inner stamina to follow your decisions and plans?
Do you admire and respect strong individuals, who have overcome obstacles and difficulties and reached far, because of the inner strength they possessed?
Most people are not are not born with inner strength, but it can be developed like any other skill.
Inner strength consists of willpower, self discipline, self control, persistence, detachment, the ability to concentrate and peace of mind. In this article we will focus on two of the ingredients, willpower and self discipline. These skills are important and essential tools for success in all areas of life. They can be learned and developed like any other skill, yet, in spite of this, only few take any steps to develop and strengthen them in a systematic way.
Willpower is the inner strength to make decisions, take action, and handle and execute any aim or task, regardless of inner and outer resistance, discomfort or difficulties. It manifests as the ability to overcomes laziness, temptations and negative habits, and to carry out actions, even if they require effort, are unpleasant and tedious or are contrary to one’s habits.
Self discipline is the ability to reject instant gratification or pleasure in favor of something better or a higher goal. It manifests as the inner strength to stick to actions or plans in spite of obstacles, difficulties or unpleasantness. It is one of the pillars of success, and bestows the inner strength to direct your energy and attention to your goal, and persevere until it is accomplished.
Both of these skills are required for the efficient handling of all activities and decisions. They are required for doing a good job, for success in business, for studying, losing weight, exercising, maintaining good relationships, changing habits, self improvement, meditation, spiritual growth, keeping promises and for almost everything else.
There are simple and effective methods for developing these powers and attaining inner strength:
1. Refusing to satisfy unimportant or unhealthy desires.
2. Doing things that are useful, but which you resist doing.
By overcoming inner resistance you develop inner power and strength.
By refusing and rejecting useless, harmful or unnecessary desires and actions, and sometimes intentionally acting contrary to your habits, you sharpen and strengthen your inner strength. You get stronger through constant practice, just like exercising your muscles at a gym makes your muscles stronger. In both cases, when you need inner power or physical strength, they are available and are at your disposal.
Here are a few exercises to strengthen your inner powers that use ordinary day-to-day activities:
- Don’t read the newspaper for a few days.
- Now and then drink your coffee or tea without sugar.
- Climb up the stairs instead of taking the lift.
- Park you car a little farther away from you destination, so that you have to walk.
- Now and then choose not to watch one of your favorite TV programs.
- Read a book that is useful and informative, but which you find boring.
- Curb your desire to criticize people.
- Delay your desire to retort angrily.
- Try to get out of bed quickly on a cold day.
These are only a few examples to show you how you can develop your inner strength. By practicing these or similar exercises you gain inner power, which you can use when you are in need of it. By practicing them you develop your inner muscles, just like lifting barbells develops your physical muscles.
By following a systematic method of training you gain control over yourself, your habits, your reactions and your life, and can more easily attain your dreams and goals.
A Little Black Pen