Reprinted with permission from "The Secret Science" by John Baines.

Apart from intelligence, the most precious gift of the human being is will power. People tend to confuse will power with simple desire.

Will power goes further however, as it is rooted in the depths of one's self. It is a powerful internal "pressure," the visible manifestation of what an individual wishes to accomplish. The expression "to have will power" is very apt, as it refers to a person who imposes on himself a rigid discipline in order to attain a desired purpose.

This power or capacity for self-mastery is manifested in diverse forms in different people. Some have a great deal of this power and others lack it completely. Success in life depends to a great extent on the will power of an individual on one's capacity to persevere, to work hard when others falter, to overcome unpleasant situations, misery and failure.

There are people of great intelligence and exquisite sensitivity who cannot forge their way in life because they lack will power.

On the contrary, we see others who are successful, not always for their great intelligence, but whose constancy, absolute dedication to work, and strong character help them to overcome all obstacles. Many times a poorly educated, obtuse and insensitive individual is more capable of success than someone who is very cultured and sensitive because he has no fear of injuring others or harassing them with demands of a commercial nature, for example. A very sensitive person, on the contrary, is always wondering what the person he does business with is thinking of him.

These considerations toward others undermine his drive as he is afraid of being ill-received and fears that he may be in the way or may become bothersome. The thought of "what will people say" is a sure cause of failure and limitation. One who thinks this way has a passive personality and is therefore unable to impose his will upon those of a positive nature, unless he develops courage, drive, audacity, and an absolute lack of consideration toward others. It is necessary to understand the sense and the way the word "consideration" is used here.

It is interesting to check the intimate relationship that exists between will power and enthusiasm. One who is able to feel enthusiastic about something is very close to possessing will power. We could say that will power is "contained, sustained, and reasoned enthusiasm."

Apathy, or lack of will power, is characterized by an absolute indifference toward everything; lack of self love; lack of interest in oneself and in others.

A cold and indifferent person can never influence others to help or support him at any time, because he cannot communicate to them the psychic vibration of enthusiasm; and when we come across someone with a lack of enthusiasm, we think that he is not convinced of the goodness or quality of the product or ideas he wishes to sell. This person cannot sell himself even to himself, and is unable to display his hidden values. Here are some recommendations for the education of the will:

Exercise Plan

  • Intense physical exercises, according to the capacity of the student. These may vary from weight-lifting to exercises of any kind. Appropriate exercises which are suitable for any need or age can found in any physical education manual.
  • Five to 10 minutes of deep breathing every morning. Stand with arms outstretched to the side upon inhaling, retain your breath as long as possible, and exhale through the mouth, simultaneously and slowly, dropping the arms.
  • Sit on a chair with hands tightly clenched, breathe deeply, concentrating upon what you are going to say, and repeat the following in a decided and energetic manner: "My will is strong and powerful. My will is strong and powerful. My will is strong and powerful. Everything that I desire I will achieve because I am a center of accumulation of life, strength, and power."
  • Sit completely upright in a chair with the spine straight, hands closed tightly, legs together, and remain completely immobile as long as possible. This immobility should be total and complete.
  • When completely exhausted physically, upon arriving home to rest, go out again and walk for a few minutes. During this walk mentally repeat, "I am making this sacrifice so my will power will increase daily more and more."

  • As a general rule for development, the following suggestions are given: Never give way to all the desires that appear during the day. A desire is a powerful force which is extinguished upon the satisfaction of it. If we refuse to satisfy many of these desires, retaining this power and maintaining it in suspense, we have in our hands a powerful energy which increases our personal magnetism.

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