Will Integration Training.
People have knowledge of what changes they want to make in their lives, often have wealth of information on how to make those changes, they even make commitments to act upon what they know is the best for them. Yet, so often it just isn't happening. And it is because one component is missing. This component is Will. Will is a vehicle for achieving what you want in your life. The stronger your Will, the more you can chart the course of your life.
I hear at times “I have absolutely no will”. Not true. In the morning you want to go to the bathroom, you would rather stay in bed.. But no, you make a decision, perhaps cursing and complaining you take a willful act of crawling out of worm a cozy bed and walking all the way down the hallway… They say “Yes, but I had no choice…” Yes you did. You could do it in your bed. Why didn’t you? The price was too high. That’s it. Apply it to any other situation.
A 2-pack-a-day smoker said “I could not stop of the life of it, I tried everything..” During the initial interview he proudly showed me a photo of his, God’s gift, 16-year-old granddaughter. I said, “Well, talking about God, imagine please for a moment, but imagine as clearly as you can that an angel of God appears here, in my office. You see the Angel, I see the Angel… There is no doubt it is a real thing. And the Angel says “My friend, I have a massage for you. If you as mach as take one puff, your granddaughter drops dead instantly.” The heavens close down, the Angel disappears. What would you say, Chris? Would you keep on smoking?” Not one person ever said “Well, I am so addicted…” Of cause not. They would probably walk out of the room where people smoke, so God forbid, they would not accidentally inhale. Why? The price is too high, the price is totally unacceptable. That’s why! And the Will would suddenly become strong. Strong enough to do what needs to be done, whether it is to abstain from the substance or to go to work so your children could eat, whether it is to jump in the cold water to save your dog, or to take a shower so you look decent when your friend comes to visit you. The other motivator to Will is a reword. Think of someone who has by his/her own admission is lazy and has a very week Will. They are given a task to perform for a period of eight hours with the payment of $500. Though it is relatively a good chunk of money, but a person just can’t get him/herself to do the task and loses the money. Now, imagine the reword is $500,000, what happens with laziness and week Will?
The presence or absence of Will, strong Will, or Week will are all relative concepts. It all comes to one thing- the price one may pay for no action, and the reword one may get for taking action. The price and reword Will vary from person to person, depending on their value system. The Will to strengthen the will depends of how important it is for a person to gain the reword or to avoid the pain of paying the price for non-action.
Some may say that if a person is not exercising strong Will- there might be psychological reason for it, and unless we uncover the roots of the problem… No, I do not believe it is a good idea to look for the roots of one’. We may find them, we may not. Or, we may find what looks like roots, but those are not the real roots, they may be leading to other roots, and those roots lead to other roots… Depending on the psychological theory we believe in we’ll find a different explanation/alibi to why people are the way we are. But the truth is- these are all but intellectual guesses. The only unquestionarable reality is that a person does not have a strong Will, or a person is depressed, or a person is anxious. Why we may really never know. May be the problem stems from the past lives, if you believe in past lives. May be it was past from other generations down the line, if you believe in the role of genetics. May be… The guesses will never end. A person’s life will. Or at least is passing by as we are trying to guess where the problems come from. That is why I suggest, as soon as we understand that there is a problem, let’s just work at using our will to address the problem and make sure that on the way we learn tools to address it quicker if it occurs again.
If you ask “Why is it so difficult for many to exercise their Will?” The answer is- Will and freedom to use one’s will have a very powerful opponent. This opponent is Habit. Sometimes people want to change what they call bad habits into what they call good habits. There is no such a thing as a good habit. A habit means that you are asleep to the present moment; it means that you are functioning automatically without full mental and/or emotional participation.
Virtually every culture teaches- energy flows where attention goes. I repeat, energy flows where attention goes. If you are doing your morning stretching and thinking about a project you are involved in at work, your body-mind is not fully partaking in the exercise and you are not getting the full benefits from it. Furthermore, each time you are doing something habitually you are reinforcing your capacity to become even more habitual. You become increasingly a subject to conditioning.
Remember Ivan Pavlov and his experiments on dogs? There is a stimulus and a response. Someone presses your button and you lash out. You finish a meal, and your hand automatically goes into your pocket searching for cigarettes. Your mother points something out and you feel guilty. Your spouse does not respond the way you expected and you spend the day wallowing in self-pity, or anger, or remorse, and the like. All predictable, recurring, and almost unconscious reactions. The more habituated you are the more it is difficult to take actions that are different from those you have taken over and over again, even if they are destructive to you and/or others.
As you start practicing the Will strengthening exercises, you will acquire tools that will help you not only to become quickly cognizant of your habitual reactions, but also techniques that will make it easier for you to live in full awareness of choices and possibilities that are available within the present moment.
The way to freedom of becoming the best you can possibly be is by going through the process of de-habituation, accepting full responsibility for your thoughts, emotions, and actions, and utilizing your will to make conscious, deliberate choices.