The Way Forward
Rules for Improvement. A desire arises. Now think whether this would be good for you. If it is not, use your Will Power to kill out the desire, but, on the other hand, if it is a righteous desire, summon all your Will Power to your aid, crush all obstacles that confront you and secure possession of the coveted Good.
Slowness in Making Decisions. This is a weakness of Will Power. You know you should do something, but you delay doing it through lack of decision. It is easier not to do a certain thing than to do it, but conscience says to do it. The vast majority of persons are failures because of the lack of deciding to do a thing when it should be done. Those that are successful have been quick to grasp opportunities by making a quick decision. This power of will can be used to bring culture, wealth and health.
Some Special Pointers. For the next week try to make quicker decisions in your little daily affairs. Set the hour you wish to get up and arise exactly at the fixed time. Anything that you should accomplish, do on or ahead of time. You want, of course, to give due deliberation to weighty matters, but by making quick decisions on little things you will acquire the ability to make quick decisions in bigger things. Never procrastinate. Decide quickly one way or the other even at the risk of deciding wrong. Practice this for a week or two and notice your improvement.
The Lack of Initiative. This, too, keeps many men from succeeding. They have fallen into the way of imitating others in all that they do. Very often we hear the expression, “He seems clever enough, but he lacks initiative.” Life for them is one continuous grind. Day after day they go through the same monotonous round of duties, while those that are “getting along” are using their initiative to get greater fullness of life. There is nothing so responsible for poverty as this lack of initiative, this power to think and do for ourselves.
You Are as Good as Anyone. You have will power, and if you use it, you will get your share of the luxuries of life. So use it to claim your own. Don’t depend on anyone else to help you. We have to fight our own battles. All the world loves a fighter, while the coward is despised by all.
Every person’s problems are different, so I can only say “analyze your opportunities and conditions and study your natural abilities.” Form plans for improvement and then put them into operation. Now, as I said before, don’t just say, “I am going to do so and so,” but carry your plan into execution. Don’t make an indefinite plan, but a definite one, and then don’t give up until your object has been accomplished. Put these suggestions into practice with true earnestness, and you will soon note astonishing results, and your whole life will be completely changed. An excellent motto for one of pure motives is: Through my will power I dare do what I want to. You will find this affirmation has a very strengthening effect.
The Spirit of Perseverance. The spirit of “sticktoitiveness” is the one that wins. Many go just so far and then give up, whereas, if they had persevered a little longer, they would have won out. Many have much initiative, but instead of concentrating it into one channel, they diffuse it through several, thereby dissipating it to such an extent that its effect is lost.
Develop more determination, which is only the Will To Do, and when you start out to do something stick to it until you get results. Of course, before starting anything you must look ahead and see what the “finish leads to.” You must select a road that will lead to “somewhere,” rather than “nowhere.” The journey must be productive of some kind of substantial results. The trouble with so many young men is that they launch enterprises without any end in sight. It is not so much the start as the finish of a journey that counts. Each little move should bring you nearer the goal which you planned to reach before the enterprise began.
Lack of Perseverance is nothing but the lack of the Will To Do. It takes the same energy to say, “I will continue,” as to say, “I give up.” Just the moment you say the latter you shut off your dynamo, and your determination is gone. Every time you allow your determination to be broken you weaken it. Don’t forget this. Just the instant you notice your determination beginning to weaken, concentrate on it and by sheer Will Power make it continue on the “job.”
Never try to make a decision when you are not in a calm state of mind. If in a “quick temper,” you are likely to say things you afterwards regret. In anger, you follow impulse rather than reason. No one can expect to achieve success if he makes decisions when not in full control of his mental forces.
Therefore make it a fixed rule to make decisions only when at your best. If you have a “quick temper,” you can quickly gain control over it by simple rule of counting backwards. To count backwards requires concentration, and you thus quickly regain a calm state. In this way you can break the “temper habit.”
It will do you a lot of good to think over what you said and thought the last time you were angry. Persevere until you see yourself as others see you. It would do no harm to write the scene out in story form and then sit in judgment of the character that played your part.
Special Instructions to Develop the Will To Do. This is a form of mental energy, but requires the proper mental attitude to make it manifest. We hear of people having wonderful will power, which really is wrong. It should be said that they use their will power while with many it is a latent force. I want you to realize that no one has a monopoly on will power. There is plenty for all. What we speak of as will power is but the gathering together of mental energy, the concentration power at one point. So never think of that person as having a stronger will than yours. Each person will be supplied with just that amount of will power that he demands. You don’t have to develop will power if you constantly make use of all you have, and remember the way in which you use it determines your fate, for your life is molded to great extent by the use you make of your will. Unless you make proper use of it you have neither independence nor firmness. You are unable to control yourself and become a mere machine for others to use.
It is more important to learn to use your will than to develop your intellect. The man that has not learned how to use his will rarely decides things for himself, but allows his resolutions to be changed by others. He fluctuates from one opinion to another, and of course does not accomplish anything out of the ordinary, while his brother with the trained will takes his place among the world’s leaders.