I’ve been finding myself talking about will a lot recently. This has come up in conversations where friends and clients have been asking for advice on how they can heal the constant feeling of frustration that their lives are not flowing. This often manifests as a continual feeling of dissatisfaction and there is what I call a “soul ache.” It feels like a constant tug within trying to pull you away from your current “busy-ness” and towards your real purpose and impact. It’s like an itch that you are just unable to scratch.
I would say I have lived a pretty successful life so far. I say that because I really – really – believe in my ability to manifest my dreams, and I am most often able to get where I am trying to go. The result of this is that I feel inspired, excited and joyful a lot of the time. And I believe the key to this has been the fact that I have, over my life, cultivated a very strong will. It is not that I believe I am more talented than the person next to me, but when I focus my mind on something that I want, my willpower muscles are strong enough to take me there.
If you only take one thing away from this article, let it be that your willpower or spiritual or personal will (call it what you may) is so important. That missed deadline or that missed run, is not just about that activity, it’s about your joy.
Let me explain why.
SYMPTOMS OF WEAK PERSONAL WILL:
- A loss in your belief to shift or change something in your life.
- Constantly feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
- Shifting blame. In my experience, most people blame their jobs and very few people really enjoy the work they do. Or people with low personal will who actually end up blaming the people they love most in their lives. Blaming their spouses or their friends for things, both big and small.
- Deep levels of frustration: your day rarely starts or ends the way you would like it to.
- There are often low levels of well-being. If your personal will is weak you struggle to take care of your physical, emotional and mental health.
WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO HAVE A STRONG PERSONAL WILL:
- There is JOY! You believe in yourself. You feel confident, supported. You feel like the king or queen in your personal story – you are in command.
- Because your light is flowing you are radiant and attract blessings to your life as a result.
- You work hard, but love what you do. Your work is a joy, even if it is not exactly what you want to be doing. The reason is that you always know where you are headed and what you are working for.
- Feeling spontaneous and flexible. You are ready for anything because you do not live in fear.
HOW TO CULTIVATE A STRONGER PERSONAL WILL:
- You can start small, but be consistent and focused. I heard a fun analogy that brings this to life: Imagine your task is to eat an elephant and you do this successfully by taking little bites at a time, without ever looking up to see how much further you still have to go. The key here is that as your muscles get stronger, it gets easier. If your muscles are not strong enough to run, then build up strength by walking.
- Meditate. Even just 15 minutes a day of meditation trains your brain to focus rather than to constantly give in to the urge to wander.
- Make a commitment each day to try and be more of your-authentic-self. It takes a huge amount of energy to be anything else. The only way to find your path to joy is to find yourself and then to be yourself. You are not able to be joyful as anyone else but You. Commit to honouring your individuality – what is it that ignites a sense of joy – no matter how weird – celebrate your unique essence and embrace the unusual actions that would assist in this. This can be done by baking cake pops, building a worm farm or turning your wall outside into a mosaic masterpiece.
- Limit your time on social media. There is a human tendency to scroll through feeds and compare ourselves to others, and then to compare ourselves to others a little more. What you are seeing is not real.
- Cultivate mindfulness of the decisions you make each day. Self-awareness is a key tool in living a successful life. It is very difficult to find your path to joy if you are not aware of the everyday choices you make that are keeping you small and unable to reach that potential that you can feel. Think about the ripple effect: that small decision that was made, for example, to go on that walk at the end of the day – the flow of evening routine would have resulted in you having the energy to work on that hobby that brings you so much joy. And the ending of your day with joy would have given you an edge for the next day to be that much more successful. If you are not honest and aware of where your blocks are, it is very difficult to clear them. The way I would recommend increasing mindfulness is to make the habit of scanning through your day each night when you close your eyes to go to bed. Do this in as much detail as you can and note what you would have changed. If you can do this regularly, you will be truly amazed at the profound gifts of clarity it will bring to your life.
- Invest in tools and healing to help you gain clarity and to increase your capacity and potential for joy. You are very welcome to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can direct you to someone in your area who can support you.
Lastly, I will say it again. If you can be clear on how important a foundation your personal will is to living the life of your dreams, you will be that much more reverent the next time you set your mind to even the smallest task. It is so worth meeting that internal request, because of how much more powerful you become with a healthy will.