‘Strength Does Not Come From Physical Capacity. It Comes From An Indomitable Will.’ ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Today could be the day you begin to develop willpower and discipline.
Have you strongly wanted to achieve something? You rushed forward and were self-determined, but all of the sudden you ended up hitting the break?
Then with some time, once again, you “firmly” decided that you will take that path to achievement one more time, confidently inspired moving forward, telling yourself that “this time” you will do everything in your capability to accomplish your goal.
And on this restored path you end up encountering difficulties, obstacles, temptations, even a desire to return to the known, to the old, and you end up having doubts about whether your time is worth your efforts. While you transpire to surrender once again.
You make a decision that you’re missing something, that you have no will and you cannot reach your purpose. You end up telling yourself, “I have no will, I don’t know what else to do. Not everyone has a strong will.”
As if strong will is granted and everyone is born with it as a talent. You think that only numbered people are born with this “privilege.”
Usually people associate will with the achievement of extremely difficult targets, which are unattainable for most people. And in most cases being linked with tremendous amount of effort, deprivation and iron discipline.
What exactly is “will?”
We can find many definitions; one of them comes from Wikipedia, which describes, “will” as, “the faculty of the mind which selects, at the moment of decision, the strongest desire from among various desires present.”
Some synonyms of will are: want, wish, desire, perseverance, determination, firm intention, impulse, self-control, etc.
In the individual psychological disciplines “will” is determined in different ways, and the classical psychoanalysis of Sigmund Freud does not accept “will” as an individual function of mentality.
If I were to give a definition of the word “will” my interpretation would be commitment.
Commitment is something natural; it’s power within us that every person possesses.
People don’t achieve their goals because they don’t have will, but because they are not sufficiently motivated, they are impatient and they don’t have confidence in themselves.
The very set attitude that one has “no faith” in him or herself and that his or her will must be related to superhuman efforts and strict disciplines, prepares this individual for failure at the onset. Thus, what might be a good first step to start with?
Changing the idea of what “will” means.
The thought process of an individual not having faith in him or herself becomes self-winding and programs the person for failure.
Everyone has will. It is not a privilege for the chosen. Will needs to be developed and exercised regularly. One can train him or herself by setting initial, small, more easily attainable goals.
Having the desire to do things and to be motivated.
The most important condition to achieve something is motivation. It is the driving force.
We have heard stories of people looking helpless — without arms and legs or living in extremely difficult circumstances that achieve the impossible and become heroes and winners. They amaze us all.
In humans there is something very unique — the human mind, which is a device that I like to call the “working spirit” that all of us have in a physical world. And with that, man leads perfection of the internal rather than external world.
Where is the power in these people? Where is the iron will? Does only strong will make it possible for them to succeed, unbearable even for “normal”, healthy people?
All of these people have motivation — they set goals. They know their “why,” which helps them go through anything along the way of reaching those goals.
The meaning of what they strive for is their fuel.
Write down what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve. What will bring the realization of the desired goal you have?
Do you really want to achieve this goal? How bad do you want it?
What is that one thing that motivates you to want it?
Write these things down and read them often. Remind yourself on regular basis why you do what you do.
Decide for once and for all and don’t respond to any fluctuations along the way.
Oftentimes people give up because in the process of achieving a goal, difficulties arise causing hesitation and doubts; where one asks him or herself, “whether it’s worth it, is that right path, maybe there’s another way.”
You’ve already decided. Do not waste your time and energy re-considering your decision. Do not think if you’re walking the “right way,” just keep going.
Make a plan.
I am convinced that when making a plan with consistent rules based on individuality and goals everything moves forward better. It is always a good idea to follow a path and have established rules for your own self.
The most important thing is that this plan follows your natural course of development.
And not having to change your life suddenly and drastically.
Oftentimes people tell themselves, “I decide that tomorrow I will stop smoking, I will begin to exercise, I will eat healthier, I will work on thinking more positively.”
As much as people may be eager and excited to do something, they sometimes demand too much from themselves, which leads to giving up and saying that he or she doesn’t have the will to do something, so the person ends up postponing things until next Monday, next month, or even next year.
The first step is to make a plan, a plan that includes gradual changes within your daily life, prioritization of goals, aiming them one by one.
Begin slowly with small steps.
The most common reason people give up is because they start too rapidly. They speed up in the beginning, put an enormous amount of efforts and end up burning out and quitting.
The best marathon runners start slow and keep their force for the end.
Usually people think that to achieve anything, one must be only hardworking and enduring.
Yet, the secret to strong will stems not only from efforts, but also from patience and perseverance.
The main objective is to keep going, no matter what.
Focusing on the process.
Usually people do not see results right away and this discourages them. They say to themselves, “Here, nothing is happening and nothing makes sense.”
This is because one focuses on the status quo and constantly seeks evidence wanting his or her efforts to be justified.
But the more one looks for evidence, the more one impedes the process and is likely to abort.
Just keep moving forward, focus on the enjoyment of the process and trust yourself.
Don’t punish yourself, if you end up failing.
Realize that in the course of achievement there are always peaks and valleys. It’s part of the process, and it’s very common.
The human mind plays a lot of mental games. It’s amazing how it “cheats” and “creates” difficulties and obstacles.
Have you noticed that when you decide something and you begin working towards this goal, you become very driven, following the new path and suddenly something goes against you, which prevents you from moving forward?
This is the game of the mind. We subconsciously “order” reasons to go back to the old and known ways of life.
Don’t punish, attack, harass or feel sorry for yourself.
Just as you’re about to give up, you need support and understanding the most.
And if you don’t give yourself support and understanding, who will?
Accept that your resistance is part of the process, forgive yourself and continue on.
You have already moved forward and are doing something; this is already a success. The doubts, instability and the return back are part of the process.
Just keep moving forward.
Do not suppress your feelings.
As people connect and associate will with endurance and strength, they often do not dare to admit to themselves that they have fear and that they are confused.
Admit to yourself that you’re tired; that you’re afraid, that you’re undergoing a difficult time of your life.
This is not a failure; this is not a weakness.
Think about it, even the greatest heroes were afraid and have fallen into depression at times.
The power is not in being unshakable and not being afraid, but to keep doing things in spite of everything happneing, and keep going through different stages and keep moving ahead.
Be your own supporter.
Of course, in moments of despair and hesitation, it is nice to have positive and motivated people around yo as well. Communicating more with strong, proactive individuals. They will motivate you.
You can even save snippets that give you strength and inspiration. In moments of difficulty and despair, make time to read them. They will give you strength to continue.
Keep moving forward even when life seem unbearable.
Dale Carnegie had said, “The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way.”
Keep trying. You will get there.
You will feel you are a winner!
Then you can say, “I have faith” and will build more confidence in my abilities.
And you will continue to achieve more “difficult” things.
Because you have the will.
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About The Author
Dr. Kachovska is an internationally known Change Catalyst. She teaches individuals and organizations about awareness, connection and the need for change — personally, socially, and professionally.