In order to move forward spiritually, we all need willpower. But how to find it, if you feel you don’t have enough of it?
You have much more power than you realize. The willpower that lies enfolded within you is something you do not realize, my friends. Since willpower is of great importance in the life of a person, I would like to talk about this subject now. First, I want to say: There is no person alive who has no willpower. Whoever says, “I am weak, I have no willpower,” is fooling himself because it appears much easier to be directed instead of being the director of one’s life, and taking the responsibility upon one’s own shoulders. It is only a question of unfolding the willpower which you already have.
Now, how can you unfold your willpower in the right direction? For all of you who say you do not have any willpower, constantly use this willpower without realizing that you do so. You are doing it subconsciously, and often in the wrong direction because you use it without clear consciousness.
There are many people who rightly say that whatever a person really wants, can be accomplished. This is more or less true. But whether what you want is, indeed, the best thing for you, is another question. Therefore, the will-directing power has to be examined by the person who wants, above all, to grow spiritually and come close to God. Such examination has to be conducted in the light of spiritual law and truth. Currents coming from the higher self are often distorted by the lower self. Now here is a good example, because willpower in itself is a most valuable asset; without it, indeed, there can never be any spiritual progress. Willpower comes from the higher self; it will remain a pure current of light and clean strength as long as it is used for a spiritual purpose, for spiritual growth, for God, with God, and in God. The moment the conscious will uses it in a wrong direction it is distorted by the lower self and becomes an impure force.
Let us take, for example, a criminal. He uses his willpower very obviously and noticeably in a wrong direction. He wants to have his will at all costs. For him the gratification of his personal desires stands so much in the foreground that he is willing to go to the length of even harming other people in order to achieve his goal. A more highly developed person will not act that way because he knows that crime is sin. And yet, he too may use his willpower in the wrong direction, though unconsciously and, of course, not in actions that obviously harm other people, but in feelings and inner reactions that also put the gratification of the ego in the foreground. This is breaking spiritual law and has its consequences in inner disharmony and/or outer conflicts. The whole process remains in the subconscious because this person knows somewhere that what he wants is wrong, yet he is not ready to give it up; he wants it nevertheless. The willpower continues to flow in the wrong direction without conscious
awareness. This is often a very important factor in an emotionally disturbed person. All this does not apply only to crime or sin as usually understood. Anything that deviates from spiritual law is sin — or ignorance, if you wish. They are the same.
Now, you may want something very badly that in itself is not considered sinful; it may not even violate the recognized standards of ethics in your society. And yet, what you want may be wrong for you, for your life. It could be right for another person. Sin, or the breaking of spiritual law, is not only something generally established for everyone alike, but also something very personal that varies with each individual. For one person to become a writer may be his destiny; in this way he can best fulfill the tasks he is supposed to fulfill in this life. Another person, by becoming a writer, may neglect the task he has really come to fulfill. You cannot say to become a writer is a sin, and yet for a particular person it may be the wrong thing to do. Now if he uses his willpower blindly, he will become a writer, but he will not be happy, because you can only be happy if you fulfill the task you have taken on in this incarnation. And everyone has a task, my friends, everyone!
Wherever you stand, you have a task, whether you have a family or whether you live quite alone. But do not look far to find this task. Do not even think first of other people whom you may desire to help. You will be able to do that too, certainly, but only after you have first found yourself. Before you can fulfill a task with other people, you have to fulfill it within yourself first. That means you have to achieve spiritual growth, purification, and complete self-knowledge as much as possible according to your strength and development. When you do this, you are on the right path and are already fulfilling a part of your task, whatever the rest of the task may be. If you begin with yourself, the rest will come to you without your having to move a finger, I can assure you.
Coming back to the question of willpower: The most important step to channeling your willpower in the right direction is in stating first: “Once and for all, I will use whatever will there is within me according to the will of God.” When you do that, my friends, the willpower already alive within you will often change direction and, even though you may not like this at first, you will, you must become happy, because God knows better than you what is best for you and what gives you most happiness. All of a sudden your problems will disappear, I can promise you that. Your willpower, even if it has been dormant to a large degree, will suddenly surge through you with a clean strength you have never suspected to exist. All tiredness, all weakness, all weariness – physical or emotional — will disappear if you sincerely mean that you put God’s will above all else, if you keep this promise and actually live it. “Whatever willpower I have, I use it according to Thy will” — this resolution is the beginning of the change for the better in your life. It is the foundation.
Download Lecture 11: “Spiritual Nourishment — Willpower” (PDF)
The practice: Decide to use your willpower to do God’s will, which is also the will of your own higher self. Allow yourself to meet your resistance and not give it power. If you feel you don’t have enough willpower to do this, pray to have more willpower.