Exercising Your Willpower


What is the most important thing when you are about to do something, or to set yourself a goal? The answer is obviously ‘Willpower’. I believe everyone here has a goal, but have you ever asked yourself what are the elements necessary that drive one to achieve these goals?

You may dream of becoming a successful lawyer or merely to retire and enjoy life, either way, it is still a goal. But ask yourself, how are you actually going to achieve it? Do you have a plan in working towards that target or are you just letting the ideas float around your mind? You see, many people want many things; they talk but it remains a talk-show because they simply do not do it. For example, if your goal is to visit a local store downtown, you will need to get up from the floor right now to prepare yourself in getting there. You can either walk, or prepare the car to reach your destination. These are all steps that are to be taken in order to achieve your goal – to be there at the store.

The store is a physical landmark, which is visible to your 5 senses. It already requires so much of effort in order to reach that destination itself, what more the vision of the life of your dreams, which you cannot really ‘perceive’ at the moment with your physical senses?

The mind is a powerful instrument that can serve you well when you drive it towards positive-thinking. It is the mind that will steer your willpower to persist in the journey of attaining an ideal. Do you know how destructive negative thoughts can then be? When you keep repeating to yourself: “I am not good enough, I am not good enough, I am not good enough…”, you will only limit your vision of yourself to just that. Even if you really are good in the very thing that you do, because of such destructive thoughts, you will fail to see your strength as you only focus on your weaknesses. Therefore, you will then not take the necessary steps to work towards your goal. After all, since you are “not good enough”, why bother?

Therefore, I suggest to all of you that if you have a goal, list out exactly the ideal that you wish to actualise. Do not just say that you have this goal and leave it as that. Specify what exactly that you want in your life. For example, if to be a high-court judge is your goal, then put on that judge robe in your mind’s eye. That is the most natural outcome of having your dream fulfilled. Experience it in your mind as if you were to experience it in the flesh.

Not many people actually take their time to list down the characteristics of what they deem as ‘success’. They merely highlight that they want to be this or that, and then just let it go. Little do they know that somehow, over time, because they cannot see their goal clearly in their minds (memory can be fallible), their dreams slowly vanish into thin air.

This is how most people fail their willpower. They are not serious enough about their goal, so they do not bother pondering the characteristics of their final goal. Remember that willpower never fails anyone. Each and every one of you have this willpower within. Everyone is given the necessary resources in order to succeed in life, but it is up to you as to how you use these resources accompanied with the right techniques. With willpower, you can go wherever you wish to go and do whatever you wish to do in life. It is this inner volition (willpower) that is responsible for all movements in the Universe. Even if one were to lift a finger, it requires willpower to do so.

Everything is possible. What is within has to materialise without. Many owe their destiny to luck instead of having faith that destiny is in their hands. Various religious scriptures have also proclaimed the same thing:

The Bible states: “Whatsoever things ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”

The Buddhist scripture says: “You are the result of what you have thought.”

Hindu Vedic scripture also says: “Yad Bhavam Tat Bhavati”(As is the feeling, so is the result).

All these refer to the feeling that you embody within you, which must objectify as your surrounding circumstances.

Some of you then may complain about the obstacles you encounter along your path in working towards a goal. Everyone faces obstacles. It is how you overcome these obstacles that are most important. When you possess a strong willpower, it can push you through all the challenges that come your way and you are sure to succeed. If however, you do not possess the sufficient willpower within, you will not be fired up enough to overcome whatsoever challenges that may come your way. Those who fall under this category will just opt to let go of their ideal instead of fighting towards it.

It is vital for one who wants to be the master of his circumstances to know the nature of the mind. The Universal Law is working all the time, but not everyone takes the time to analyse the state of their minds. After having dwelled on unfavourable mental images and when these images objectify as their surrounding reality, they go on and say: “Oh my God, why am I facing this?” or “My luck is down”. They remember not that they were the ones who were responsible for it in the first place.

If you dwell in accidents, accidents you will attract. Dwell on thoughts of poverty, poverty is what you get. No one else is to be blamed except yourself! It is due to fallible memory that you have forgotten that you have dwelled in that state to have caused it to come into being. Having made that bed, you must now sleep in it. Stop blaming others or your circumstances or your life.

Once you have defined your goal, work towards it. In order to move from one place to another, you have to step on the accelerator pedal. The car isn’t going to move by just sitting in the car. The same applies to willpower. At the beginning of working towards an ideal, many people are so fired up that they step on the pedal with full force and the car speeds. However, after some time, they just take their foot off the accelerator pedal but still expect the car to move. That is the sign of weak willpower. With that, friction takes over, and the vehicle will come to a halt. Therefore, you must constantly keep yourself in check. Willpower is not a part-time job; it is not a 5-minutes thing. It has to be continuous. You have to maintain that strength in order to attain any goal in life. Persevere until you have reached your destination! That is what we call by exerting your willpower!

Procrastination is by far the worse habit in weakening the willpower. Whatsoever that you need to do, do it now. Putting off your tasks for tomorrow will only ensure failure because when tomorrow comes, your fire of determination would have been dimmed and once again, out of laziness, you will procrastinate again. Finally, you end up doing nothing. For those procrastinators who have deadlines to meet, you may feel the fire of willpower burning towards the last minute because you will work under pressure, knowing that it is compulsory to submit that particular project or else you will be out of your job or fail your examinations.

But what about your goals to succeed in life? These have no specific deadlines. Since success can be secured at any stage of your life, one does not feel the push to do whatever that is necessary to achieve it. Therefore, many people put their dreams of success for later. Then, days pass by, weeks pass by, months pass by and finally years pass by, and you realise that you still have not budged in working towards your goal. For those who are already in their middle-age, you then say to yourself, I had this dream but I am now too old to work towards it. So you let the dream melt away and you remain feeling unfulfilled. Although age is never a problem, people constantly use age as an excuse. So do it now! Whatever it is that you want, work towards it now! Do not procrastinate and stop blaming your circumstances! Exercise your willpower to see that your goals come to pass.

Opportunities are abundant. They present themselves everywhere, but you need to be open-minded in order to reach out to them. People are so rigid in their thinking these days. Many are not happy being stuck in a job that they dread so much, but are unable to leave because they lack the necessary willpower to do so. They say: “Oh, I have studied this in University, so I can only remain in this job field.” This is absolute nonsense! I know a person who has a Masters in Engineering opening up a hamburger store. When I asked him whether he feels that his certificate in Engineering is wasted, he replied that he knows for sure that this is his passion, and that his certificate will never go to waste because the theory of Engineering he studied in University can also be applied in his business.

So remember, when you force yourself to do something, you are not going to achieve anything because you will lack the necessary willpower to reach the top. You will need to listen within and ask yourself what exactly that you want and just go for it. Too many questions and the use of logic whether or not a goal is worthy of you cannot benefit you in any way. When you have set yourself a goal, you obviously would have thought that you are worthy of that goal in the first place. You would not have set a goal if the goal did not make you feel good. You set it because when you thought about it, you felt exhilarated and enthusiastic in achieving it. But if you don’t do something to achieve it now, over time, your energy will get depleted and you will cast the entire idea as something unrealistic because you cannot see your progress towards it. So, continue moving. Do something that will bring your dreams to come into being. Take step-by-step. They need not be very major steps, but every small step will bring you closer to your ideal. That is how you strengthen your willpower.

Set yourself small goals and really do it. Whether it is to go for a walk in the evening or to read a chapter of a particular book tonight, do it! If you keep setting goals in your mind, and just end up not doing them, the willpower is severely affected. Imagine the willpower as a friend of yours who is ever ready to help you in all your endeavours. If you keep telling your friend that you will do this or that, but you end up not doing them, over time, your friend will not take your words seriously. The next time you set yourself a big goal, willpower will just cast it aside saying, “It’s the same thing again, he / she will not do it. So why bother?”

Your goal of success will then not be anywhere nearer to you because your willpower itself has already lost its momentum. Someone once said that it takes 7 days to form a good habit, but takes only 1 second to break it. So train your willpower, you must!



Excerpts from the Master's discourse in Klang, MALAYSIA (June 09, 2012)

Posted by Sandhya Maarga Mission on 06:27. Filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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