Exploring Possibilities: Will Power, The Mental Biceps
Manjhi the mountain man. This is a name which has almost become a synonym for ‘Will Power”. Dashrath Manjhi was a poor laborer in Gehlaur village, near Gaya in Bihar, India.
The distance of his village from the nearest town was about 12KM but due to a long standing mountain, one had to go around it adding an Additional 40KM to it. He lost his wife as she could not be taken to the hospital in time All Because of this Mountain.
He then decided that no one else in the Village would suffer the same Fate as his Wife did. So he stood up to carve a path through the Mountain. After 22 years of work, he carved a 360 ft long, 30 ft wide and 25 ft high hillock using only a hammer and chisel.
This story very clearly indicates that life is a manifestation of where we direct our energies. Right now if we speak of ourselves, we are the sum total of where we have been giving and focusing our energies.
In order to focus our energies in the right direction we can transform ourselves in 2 ways.
1. We meet an accident which gives us a never ending reason to focus and converge our pran-vayu (internal energy) for one single cause.
2. We train our mind with consistency to acquire control.
I think all of you will not like to have the first situation happen, so let’s attempt to understand point number 2. To simplify this acquisition of control over our mind, I will divide this discussion into 3 topics…
1. Awareness /Focus
3. Will power
Awareness/ Focus: If we need to understand the difference between mind and awareness, it can be easily understood by Dandapaani (a monk) model. He divides the mind into different blocks of emotions, like anger, hatred, bliss, love, trust, loyalty, distrust, mercy, so on and so forth. Now, as per him awareness or focus is like a shining ball of light, and it enlightens the block of the mind where it is placed. So if your mind is blocked, then it’s not the mind, it’s the ball of awareness which is blocked and we don’t have the power to move it. So to move it, we need two actions.
• Either we want to keep it on one block of our choice….For this we need the power of concentration.
• Or we need to move to other blocks of our choice…For this we need the power to move it, and this is called the Power of will, or will power.
One important thing…in both the 2 cases mentioned above, we take control of the mind into our hands, rather than being controlled by our mind.
This brings us to the next topic that is concentration. It is the art or an ability to focus on a subject, topic or issue for an extended period of time. So if we can keep or fix our ball of light (awareness) on one particular block (mercy, gratitude, love, etc.) for a longer duration, then we can generate certain frequencies of the thoughts and here I must tell you a very important thing. In this universe every success is present at a particular frequency, and if the frequency of your thoughts matches the frequency of the success, it will be available to you.
Perhaps that explains the law of attraction too. Most important mistake about concentration is that we all know about concentration, but no one tells us how to concentrate. Monk Dandapaani says “to learn concentration we must practice concentration. He says, we can practice concentration by doing one thing at one time and then integrating this practice into our routine.
For instance, talking to your partner, or dealing with a client or having food. Whenever you perform these tasks, give your undivided attention to it. This way you will practice concentration for 4 to 5 hours in a day and in a few months you will observe that your concentration powers have improved.
So to practice a discipline like concentration, we must learn a tool to practice and then insert the required tool into a reoccurring event in our routine
Another thing we need to learn and develop is the will power. If we try to understand will power, it's nothing but our mental biceps or mental muscles. How do we develop our muscles...? We do that by regular exercise and strengthening them. Let’s understand, as to how we can flex our mental muscles.
So there are 3ways how you can practice to develop these mental muscles on a regular basis.
1. You finish what you begin
2. Finish it beyond expectations
3. Extend the task for some extra time.
Let’s understand this with an example. Suppose I take a target of doing 10k steps in the morning walk. First thing I do is to finish these 10 k steps and do my stretching and have my energy drink. This I call finishing the routine. Many people just do 10 k steps and that’s it.
Then after doing 10k steps, do an additional 500 steps more. Further on, do it for another 5 minutes, so on and so forth. These additional acts need the energizing of the will power. After a few days we might realize that we are doing 20k steps, with an improved will power…
So with help of these small practices, which if we do regularly for an extended period of time, we can help ourselves to take control of your mind and help one become the master of the mind, rather than being a tame slave…All the best..
(The author is a Certified Designed Thinking Master practitioner and Clifton Certified Strength Finder Coach, Corporate Trainer and a Leadership coach. He is based in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, India.)