Developing Will Power and Self Discipline
By Remez Sasson
Most people admire and respect strong individuals, who have won great success by manifesting will power and self discipline. They admire people, 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 power 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 bestows the inner strength to focus all your energy on your 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 required for doing a good job, for 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.
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 every one of them, you get stronger.
Refusing and rejecting useless, harmful or unnecessary desires and actions, and intentionally acting contrary to your habits, sharpen and strengthen your inner strength. 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 exercises:
- 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 one week, go to sleep one hour earlier than usual.
- If you like ice cream, don't have any, for a day or two.
These are only a few examples to show how you can develop your will power and self-discipline. You may think that practicing such exercises is being tough on yourself, maybe a little, but they add so much 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.
Show and prove to yourself that you are strong and in control, and practice the above exercises for a little while, before passing any judgement on them.