This essay is shared by Remez Sasson
Most people admire and respect strong individuals who have won great success by manifesting will power and self-discipline. People in all walks of life, who with sheer will power, self-discipline and ambition have improved their life, learned new skills, overcame difficulties and hardships, reduced their weight, rose high in their chosen field or advanced on the spiritual path.
The truth is that everyone can reach high levels of will power and self-discipline through a practical method of training. These inner powers are not reserved for a few special people.
Will power and self-discipline are two of the most important and useful inner powers in everyone’s life, and have always been considered as essential tools for success in all areas of life. They can be learned and developed like any other skill, yet, in spite of this, only few take any steps to develop and strengthen them in a systematic way.
What is will power?
It is the inner strength to make a decision, take action, and handle and execute any aim or task until it is accomplished, regardless of inner and outer resistance, discomfort or difficulties.
It bestows the ability to overcomes laziness, temptations and negative habits, and to carry out actions, even if they require effort, are unpleasant and tedious or are contrary to one’s habits.
What is self-discipline?
It is the rejection of instant gratification in favor of something better. It is the giving up of instant pleasure and satisfaction for a higher and better goal.
It manifests as the ability to stick to actions, thoughts and behavior, which lead to improvement and success. Self-discipline is self-control, and it manifests in spiritual, mental, emotional and physical discipline.
The purpose of self-discipline is not living a limiting or a restrictive lifestyle. It does not mean being narrow minded or living like a fakir. It is one of the pillars of success and power. It endows the inner strength to focus all the energy on a goal and persevere until it is accomplished.
Both of these abilities are required for daily actions and decisions, and also for making major decisions and attaining major success. They are needed to start and continue studying, building a business, losing weight, bodybuilding and physical exercises, maintaining good relationships, changing habits, self improvement, meditation, spiritual growth, keeping and carrying out promises and for almost everything else.
Is it possible to develop and strengthen will power and self-disciplined? Yes, of course it is possible, but like everything else, training and exercising are necessary.
One of the most simple and effective methods to develop will power and self-discipline is by refusing to satisfy unimportant and unnecessary desires. Everyone is constantly confronted and tempted by an endless stream of desires and temptations, many of which are not really important or desirable. By learning to refuse to satisfy all of them, you get stronger.
Refusing and rejecting, useless, harmful or unnecessary desires and actions, and behaving contrary to your habits, sharpen your will power and strengthen your self-discipline. By constant practice your inner power grows, just like exercising your muscles at a gym increases your physical strength. In both cases, when you need inner power or physical strength, they are available at your disposal.
Here are a few examples:
- Don’t read the newspaper for a day or two.
- Drink water when thirsty, in spite of your desire to have a soft drink.
- Walk up and down the stairs instead of taking the lift.
- Get down from the bus one station before or after your destination, and walk the rest of the way.
- For a week go to sleep one hour earlier than usual.
- Sometimes resist the desire to eat ice cream.
These are only a few examples of the many exercises that can be conducted in order to develop will power and self-discipline. Exercises like these add to the storehouse of your inner strength. By following a systematic method of training you can reach far, have more control over yourself and your life, attain your goals, improve your life, and gain satisfaction and peace of mind.