By Henry Sherin
NEXT we will consider the will in its relation to our character. We all know what it is to will, but how and when to use the will as a power in our lives is the important fact.
The will may be defined in many ways, and by many terms, but they will all result in the same conclusion, that the will is the mental dynamo that drives the man. It is seen very prominently in every successful man and woman. It is written in the face of every great captain of industry. It flashes from the eye of every great soldier and statesman. It is the chief distinction between men as we see them in the business world. The successful man has willed to succeed, while the failure has refused to exercise his will at the opportune time, when a positive decision was necessary.
Our success or non-success will be according to how we have willed. The Great Teacher said: "Be it unto thee even as thou wilt," and this is as true to-day as it was two thousand years ago.
Your measure of knowledge, health, and happiness will be according to what you have willed. Many a man of fine intellectual power, cultivated perception, and brilliant thoughts, lacks decision and the power to say: "Yes, I will, this moment."
Lack of will power is sure to bring failure to our daily plans and exercises, and will reduce the efficiency of our efforts.
A small boy was told by his teacher to use his will in getting up his lessons. He replied that he did not have any will, as his mother had said she had broken it when he was a year old. It is a great mistake to try to break any person's will, even that of a child. It should be guided into useful channels, for without it man is useless.
A decisive will is a very important mental phenomenon that should be cultivated. The habit of postponing everything when the mind sees the wisdom of acting is ruinous to mental character, health, and prosperity. All other mental faculties lie behind the will and await its action.
Man who fears to say "I will" accomplishes nothing of importance in the world and lives a drone-like existence. The determination which enables a man to say "I'll do it" is what sets one man above another in business, politics, and religion. Many a man of very ordinary ability makes a great leader because of the power of his will to act without delay. Will makes a man a giant among men, lifting him above his fellows, and changing the whole course of his life. Will ever leads and controls in every society, corporation, and business, in every city, state, and nation, and turns the impossible into the easy task; for nothing seems to be impossible to the man who believes and wills.
Whether the man be a general, a statesman, or a captain of industry, the will must assert itself that the man may lead and govern. Difficulties may be great, obstacles may be many, and barriers may be high, but the man with a persistent will is sure to win. Persistent willing is the distinguishing characteristic of all successful men. Look at the warriors of American history, or the business giants of our country who have risen from seclusion to the most prominent places in this land by their positive persistent wills! And this does not mean they went blindly ahead, but rather exercised common sense in the use of their wills. They were satisfied they were right and courageously pressed forward to victory.
Every neighborhood has examples of such men, whose acts leave imprints on the tablets of time, which can be read by the people of their day, and will be by the generations yet unborn. Will power always makes leaders. If you would be a leader, you must show determination and assert your personality, for only by these means can you command the respect of those around you. Get the habit of leaning upon others and depending upon their thought and action, and you will never have a personality, but will always be simply an attachment to society, and you may not be a very ornamental attachment either.
If you would develop your mental powers and be a real personality, avoid doing always as others do. You are an individual and should always assert yourself in every kind of society or business in which you are interested.
The human hog whose dominant will would ride over the rights of others is generally despised, but not more than the insipid creature who never shows he has a mind of his own or a will to carry out anything. Be an individual supreme in yourself. This is not easy at first, but constant attention will develop you. Do correct things that are difficult to perform, and you will grow stronger with every act. Nothing tends to develop the person who has patience and determined will, as opposition, and as the man who rows up-stream makes his muscle stronger by so doing, so the man who performs unpleasant tasks increases his mental muscle, making him strong and ready for the battles of life. A man never grows mentally, morally, or physically, without labor or testing exercise; so you cannot have your faculties grow and increase in power by always doing the enjoyable, easy things.
Some people would remove all the obstacles from the pathway of man, so that the good things of this world, health and prosperity, would come to him without any strenuous effort on his part. By this plan many a rich father, who rose from poverty, ruined his son, and many a well-meaning mother spoiled her boy or girl. Make the young man and woman hot-house plants, and they will be unhealthy weaklings in business fields, amid the trying storms of competition, or under the scorching sun of moral or social criticism. Any person can give time and attention to an agreeable, enjoyable matter, but it takes will power to face a subject which may develop strong opposition.