By Remez Sasson
Sometimes you wish to go for a walk, knowing how good it is for your health and how wonderful you feel afterwards, yet, you feel too lazy and prefer to watch TV instead. You may be aware of the fact that you need to change your eating habits or stop smoking, yet, you do not have the inner power and persistence to change these habits.
Does this sound familiar? How many times have you told yourself, "I wish I had will power and self discipline"? How many times have you started some new activity and quit after a while? We all have had experiences like these.
Everyone possesses some habits or addictions they wishes they could overcome, such as smoking, excessive eating, laziness, procrastination or lack of assertiveness. Developed will power and self discipline bestow the inner strength to overcome any negative habit. They make a great difference in your life. They can make you a winner in whatever you do.
Will power is the ability to control unnecessary and harmful impulses. It is the ability to overcome laziness and procrastination. It is the ability to arrive to 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 stamina to persevere in whatever one does. It bestows the ability to withstand hardships and difficulties, whether physical, emotional or mental. It grants the ability to reject immediate satisfaction for something better.
The human being is full of inner unconscious, or partly conscious, impulses. People sometimes 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.
Will power and self-discipline help us to choose our behavior and reactions instead of being their slaves. Don't think that life will become dull and dry in this way. On the contrary, you will feel more powerful, in charge of yourself and your surrounding, and consequently much more happy and satisfied.
How many times have you felt too weak, lazy or shy to do something you needed to do? You can gain inner strength and the ability to decide whether to act or react, or refuse to act or react in any situation. 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.
At the end of this article you will find some exercises and techniques to develop these abilities. You can perform these exercises anywhere, and at any time. Go slowly and gradually and your powers will increase. The desire and ambition to practice these exercise will develop and strengthen your self-discipline.
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 the exercises you develop your powers the same way as someone who engages in bodybuilding builds his muscles. When you exercise your will power you strengthen your self-discipline and gain inner strength. The more you exercise, the stronger you become.
One way to develop and improve this ability is to practice doing disagreeable things in your daily life. Your mind and feelings may oppose this action, nevertheless, do it. By doing something you do not like or are too lazy to do, you overcome your subconscious resistances, train your inner powers and gain strength. Muscles get stronger by resisting the power of the barbells. Inner strength is attained by overcoming inner resistance.
1) You are sitting in a bus or train and an old man or woman, or a pregnant lady walks in. Stand up and give up your seat even if you prefer to stay seated. Do this not just because it is polite, but because you are doing something that you are reluctant to do. In this way you are overcoming the resistance of your body, mind and feelings.
2) There are dishes in the sink that need washing, and you postpone washing them for latter. Get up and wash them now. Do not let your laziness overcome you. When you know that in this way you are developing your will power, and if you are convinced of the importance of will power in your life, it will be easier for you to do whatever you have to do.
3) You come home tired from work and sit in front of the T.V. because you feel too lazy and tired to go and wash yourself. Do not obey the desire to just sit, but go and have a shower
4) You may know your body needs some physical exercise, but instead you keep on sitting doing nothing or watching a movie. Get up and walk, run or do some other physical exercise.
5) Do you like your coffee with sugar? Then for a whole week decide to drink it without sugar. You like to drink three cups of coffee each day? For a week drink only two.
6) Overcome your laziness and your habits. Convince yourself of the importance of what is to be done. Convince your mind that you become stronger when you do things, even when you are reluctant, too lazy or believe you are too tired to do.
7) Sometimes, when you want to say something that is not important, decide not to say it.
8) Don't read some unimportant gossip in the newspaper, even if you want to.
9) You have a desire to eat something not too healthy. Refuse the desire.
10) If you find yourself thinking unimportant, unnecessary, negative thoughts, try to develop lack of interest in them by persuading yourself of their futility.
Never say that you cannot follow the above exercises, because you certainly can. Be persistent no matter what. Think and rethink about of the importance of performing the exercises and the inner power and strength they will give you. Believe me it helps. It helped me and it can help you.
Trying to attempt too many exercises immediately at the start may end in disappointment. It is better to start with small and not so important actions at first, and gradually increase the number and difficulty of the exercises. Practice will improve and increase your power, giving you a lot of satisfaction.
Remember, these exercises develop both will power and self discipline, as they are strongly connected. Strengthening one strengthens the other.
Most of these exercises can be practiced anywhere, anytime. You do not have to devote special times for them. Believe me, they are very effective. Practicing them enables you to be strong and exercise will power and self-discipline in everything you do. This power becomes available whenever needed.
If you practice weight lifting, running or doing aerobics you strengthen your body. When you need to move something heavy, you have the strength for it. By studying French each day, you will be able to talk French when you travel to France. The same thing happens with will power and self-discipline. By strengthening them, they become available whenever they are needed.
The exercises should be practiced because of your decision to perform them, and because you realize that by doing them you will develop your will power and self-discipline.
One important thing to remember is not to interfere with your health or deny your body and its necessities. Deny what is not necessary or harmful and you will get stronger.
If you stop doing something in order to strengthen yourself and you find that it is easy, you can resume doing it, if it is not harmful. For example, you love orange juice, and in order to strengthen your will power you switch to apple juice and then find out that it does not matter to you. If it is so, you can switch back to orange juice if you like. You have proven to yourself that you are stronger than your subconscious impulses. Always use your reason and common sense so that you do no damage to yourself.
You need both of them in order to rule your thoughts and to be the boss of your mind. The stronger they are, the more control you have over your thoughts, and consequently your powers of concentration get stronger.
When you are the master of your mind you enjoy inner peace and happiness. Outer events do not sway you, and circumstances have no power over your peace of mind. It may sound like a dream for you, but once you start on the way, you will prove to yourself that all the above is true.
They are essential for self growth, spiritual growth and meditation. They are the powers that change your habits, and are the key to any kind of success.
Will power and self discipline give you more control over your daily life, help you in the development of all the inner powers and are essential for a spiritual search. They keep you on the right track until you get what you are after.
If you practice the exercises presented here earnestly and persistently, you will go really far.