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Self Confidence : The Importance of Will-Power
The importance of will-power is recognized by most men, yet few deliberately give any time or thought to its development. Why we resist one thing and yield to another may be due to "the strongest motive," but what more particularly concerns us in the study of self-confidence is in what way this mighty power can be built and directed.
Does desire control the will, or will desire? The psychologist points to the testimony of consciousness as confirming our freedom to choose a certain course and to pursue it, with the feeling that we could choose some other course if we desired.
In either event, there is no feeling of compulsion, and this would seem to confirm the idea of freedom of will.
Let desire, then, be the starting-point of the student's attempt to educate his will. To strengthen immediately his desire for a strong will, he should dwell intently upon the advantages this power will confer upon him. He should think deeply upon the satisfaction that will come to him from doing things definitely and promptly, and the increased self-confidence that will surely follow from the habit of finishing in a thorough manner everything he undertakes. By dwelling long and earnestly upon the inestimable value of a strong, well-directed will, there will grow in his mind an intense desire to possess this faculty, to use it to his daily advantage, and finally by its aid to realize his life's ambition.
There are many things we desire to avoid, such as poverty, pain, misfortune, and ill-health; while there are things we much desire to have, such as wealth, power, knowledge, and independence. It is, however, the intensity of our desire that counts for most.
"I desire to become a good public speaker," says one. "How strong is your desire?" asks the teacher. "Will you practice regularly every day for an hour?!" "I don't think I can," says the student, "because my time is so much occupied during the day, and at night I am too tired." "What personal sacrifices are you ready to make?" "None," is the answer. "Then," replies the teacher,
"Your desire is not strong enough to make you a good public speaker."
This applies with equal force to you who read these pages in search of help to develop your self-confidence.
How strong is your desire to acquire this great power?
Is it strong enough to lead you carefully to read all the suggestions offered here and to put them into actual practice?
Will you enter upon this study with intense earnestness and perseverance?
Will you make reasonable sacrifice to achieve this great end?
Your answer to such questions as these will largely determine what your success will be.
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I look out my window at daybreak as the sunrise creates tiny sparkles on sheets of frozen snow. Two mornings later, the snow and sparkles are gone.
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