You and I have probably seen hundreds of advertisements for products that sell fast and easy diets, supplements or bizzarre exercise gadgets that claim to work wonders if you take advantage of a special offer to purchase the items. Often, the offer guarantees success or money back.
These are almost perfect ploys because people who lack self-discipline will probably only make a half-hearted effort to use the product. Even if the customer does use the product, as directed, but sees little or no results, he likely won’t take the time and effort to repackage the product and send it back. Sometimes, the customer fails to return the product because he believes that would be admission of failure on his part. The marketers bet that the majority of their customers will behave in this manner.
The customer will have just bought into the mistaken notion that will power is an etherial concept that really won’t work for the average person. Today, as in the past, many people simply wish to disregard will power and actively discourage others from using it, too.
At some time in our lives, we have found it necessary to act in opposition to the ways of most other people. Think of a time when you faced scorn and ridicule in the face of a difficult decision or when you absolutely had to do something for the good of a loved one or yourself. At the time, you felt like it was you against the world. If you forged ahead and did what you had to do, you used will power. You probably were not even aware that you were using will power.
During those times when you are forced to “face the music”, you understand that you must overcome outer and inner opposition through confidence and control. The challenges and obstacles will not simply evaporate. There comes the time to apply your best strengths to the situation. Becoming determined, assertive, and willing to control, all determine the outcome. Those times are when you dismiss your urges to surrender to passivity.
Will power is not a long-term state of mind nor is it a lifestyle. However, if your overall state of mind or lifestyle includes the willingness to exercise will power, you already have a leg up on life.
A guru once gave me a comparison. He said that will power is a very powerful but temporary boost. Think about a space capsule heading towards the Moon. To get underway, there is the need for a huge, powerful rocket stage. It’s the biggest part of the Rocket ship. It burns with intensity and explosive power. But the energy contained in the tanks only lasts a few minutes. The first stage of the rocket must be powerful enough to overcome the inertia of the Earth’s gravitational field and enable momentum.
Will power is your own first stage rocket booster that enables action on your part. Like the Moon capsule, the bulk of your energy and drive are harnessed to give you the needed massive thrust forward into the solution of your problem or challenge. Once you’re underway, the momentum will help carry you through. If your Moon rocket doesn’t contain enough energy and focus, the capsule won’t get past Earth and will only tumble back down to the ground.
Knowing this, is valuable information. It takes away the fear that we have to use will power 24/7, 365 days at a stretch. Just understanding that will power is a power surge, helps us focus and determine our personal trajectory.
Before I learned that will power is a temporary condition, I didn’t understand that long-term will power is unsustainable. I usually burned out before I’d gained momentum. I’d use up my energy in trying to maintain initial thrust for days at a time. When I finally understood how to execute my plan with focused energy, I was able to accomplish some long desired goals, like becoming a nonsmoker.
To carry the analogy further, the wise use of your energy remains Moon ship-like in other ways. The quick firing of the first-stage booster rocket doesn’t instantly get you to the Moon. It only establishes the speed and direction away from inertia. The will power stage establishes the necessary conditions to complete your journey.
You direct your focus and energy towards your destination. You not only get carried up in the excitement, but you set up the habitual actions required to follow through. You’ll be journeying to your destination while being alert to minor course corrections and pitfall avoidance maneuvers.
The residual energy from your will power will make your efforts less difficult and more enticing. A major benefit will be more self-confidence and faith in yourself. You’ll find out the difference between the futility of aggression and the constructiveness of assertion. You’ll find that your wise use of will power has given you more self-control, too.
The Blue Jay of Happiness hopes you enjoy your journey.