For a weak – willed person life lacks purposefulness, decisiveness, the thrill of action and the joy of conquest. Yet these qualities of mind can be ours if we will take a little trouble to understand and develop the part that power ought to play in our lives. Let us examine some small attitudes and activities.
1.Practice self – discipline in ordinary everyday things:
If we want to strengthen self – discipline and will for the crises of life, we need to practice it in the mundane things. Whatever it may be we need to give ourselves some definite “programmer”.
If it is a case of too heavy smoking
we ought to set a limit say 5 a day. This is an inviolable promise made to
ourselves. To keep this promise is enormously to boost our own self – respect.
If we play this “promise game” seriously we shall find it really works.
2.Take a “middle path” in choosing objectives:
In the promise game there are two
difficulties: we may make the objective too easy or too difficult. The proper
technique is to choose a middle path – not too easy, not too hard, and then
gradually work up to more difficult tasks.
Write down the promise you made and
repeat it aloud to reinforce yourself.
3. Set a time limit for your good resolution:
For example it is much easier to say:
“I will stop smoking for a week”, than to say, simply, “I will stop smoking”.
Evidence is found for example in many Christians who make some act of self –
denial for the period of Lent. One short victory gives us strength and self –
confidence for yet another. The simple truth is that a dozen small victories
are easier to achieve than one formidable one. And a dozen separate fillips to
your self – esteem is better than a single one.
4. Realist the value of regularity:
Ten minutes physical exercise daily is better than an hour every fortnight. We need to focus
relentlessly on our task, turning away
from side issues, easy temptations or
silly excuses. Regular effort demands daily application, a set procedure, a
definite place, hour, plan and routine. This matter of “habit – pattern” is
perhaps the most important single factor.
5. Remember that it is “action” which counts:
Important as right ideas are , far
more important is right action. Whenever a principle commends itself do something about it at
once. For example, we mentioned earlier about writing down an aim. Have you written down anything yet?
If not, do it NOW! Let the idea fulfil itself in action.
6. Remember the importance of the “final spurt”:
We have all seen runners win a race
by virtue of the final spurt – a reserve of energy which enabled them to go all
out at the last moment. Mental effort too has its counterpart in this respect.
To know that we are “plodders – on”
rather than “gives – up “ is to build our self esteem considerably. This final
spurt has the psychological impetus of consolidating all your powers. Here is
the final test of will power – that you can go on, when others give up!