Yogananda on willpower

Yogananda mentions one of the incidents from his childhood in his ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ that relates to the application of willpower. During his childhood, he had a funny discussion about a boil that his sister was holding on her hand and during this conversation, he joked and comments that he would also give her a similar boil on her hand. When his sister mocked him for a liar, just to prove his point, he affirms to his sister that by the power of his will, he will definitely make it through the next day.

In fact, the next day his forearm boiled a lot, which finally had to be surgically removed. His mother tells him never to use his will to hurt.

He mentions that simple and harmless phrases spoken by him, with deep concentration, had acquired sufficient hidden strength and had had a definite but noxious effect on him. Therefore, anyone could wisely use the same vibratory power in speech in a constructive way to overcome life’s difficulties and find solutions.

In his other works, such as ‘The Eternal Search of Man’, he explains how to develop willpower. We can use our mind to manifest what we want, but the most important ingredient is willpower. The will is the power by which we can accomplish anything in life, including God-realization.

When we are passionate about some initiative or when we love our job or a hobby, we get tremendous natural energy to take those things and, more importantly, carry them out. This is because our will focuses on these activities and helps to draw the energy of the Universe. The will we are debating here is not a raw resolution, but an inner will.

The mind is one of the important tools to strengthen the will within us. Here are some ways to develop our willpower using our mind.

a) Think positively and constructively, realizing that the mind has an inherent ability to manifest our intentions, whether deliberately or not.

b) Make resolutions to do small tasks and complete them. Then progressively take on the most difficult tasks and execute them.

c) Experiment with the manifestation using your mind. You can practice setting goals to create small things in your life, and as you observe the results, you will gain more confidence and aim for bigger things.

Each time you are successful in the above activities, you are strengthening your will to some extent. Finally, a strong will can be used to solve our problems and obtain solutions, create our own destiny and work for our spiritual growth.

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