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What a tragedy it is to live with the will so weak that one cannot carry out that which one sincerely intends to do or live as one has conscientiously resolved to live. And, it is so easy, so very easy, to change what is called a weak will to a strong will if you idealize the process that was used in the beginning to form the original intention or resolution. If you do this, the original intention with all its desire -is ever present and no effort is necessary to sustain the will. All success depends, however, upon the process being idealized -being made perfect in the mind. In the case of will, the idealizing applies most of all to idealizing vivid images in the mind.

Will is the power that makes us persist in our efforts to carry out a decision long after the decision is made. A person with a weak will often makes a decision with the same good intention as one with a strong will, but the power to carry out their decision does not persist after a lapse of time because they cease to visualize the images that led them to make the decision in the first place.

Why does a person of good intentions, having made a promise in all sincerity, fail to keep it? Because of lack of will. Because they allow the images that led them to make the promise to become less vivid day by day. And as these images fade, as they become weaker and weaker, the individual leaves undone many things that should be done to enable them to keep the promise. A strong will keeps the images in mind day after day; a weak will permits them to fade. The decision at the time a promise is made is strong because the images, ideas and ideals that lead one to make the decision are vivid at the time. If the images are kept vivid, the decision remains, and the will grows stronger instead of weaker.

The case of a Boy and His Mother: The boy is lovable, dutiful, obliging, sociable and idealistic -not a single bad habit. His mother is partly dependent upon him. He left the little Connecticut town to accept a position in New York City because the increased pay would make it possible for him to give more to his mother. Before leaving he vowed to himself and promised her that every Saturday night he would send her at least six dollars; that when his salary was increased he'd send her more.

Failure Due to Weak Will: The six dollars were sent the first, second, third, and fourth Saturday nights, but only five dollars were sent the fifth; and then the amount varied. Finally one Saturday night he had nothing to send; he did not even have enough to pay his room rent for the next week. He was just as lovable, obliging and idealistic as when he left home; but when he went out with the other office men to lunch, he did not wish to seem miserly, so ordered what they ordered. When they invited him to join, then -Dutch treat -at a good theatre, he went because he liked good entertainments. And so his money was spent. His habits were still good, but his will was not strong enough to resist the temptation to spend money for the things of the city.

His Struggle: The night he was unable to send anything to his mother was a night of agony. He was not selfish, and, consequently, he suffered the more. He prayed, and he resolved, and he vowed that he'd never fail again. But -he did. Though he sent six dollars a week regularly for the four succeeding weeks, the seventh week he sent but four, and two of these he had borrowed.


How He Developed a Strong Will: He chummed with a fellow-worker in the office. One night the boy, in desperation, opened his heart to his friend, and the chum, who knew me, brought him to me. The boy felt his whole life would be a failure: "If I have not strength of will to resist these temptations, what will become of me when big ones come?"

The Process of Idealizing: I asked him to close his eyes, to think of his home, to picture in his mind the house and the rooms in the house, to visualize his mother there, to visualize her love for him and his love for her; to visualize her needs, and how much the six dollars a week added to her comfort. That was all; there was to it.

"You now feel strong enough to keep your promise, do you not?" "Certainly," he replied, "I am strong enough now." "Then always keep this condition of the NOW with you; make it permanent in your mind; visualize, for fifteen minutes every morning and every night these same images of your mother's home, her needs, and the extra comforts your six dollars a week will provide. So long as these images are strong in your mind your will to keep your promise is strong. But when these images fade and the images of expensive lunches and theatres become stronger, your will to keep your promise becomes weak. To keep your will strong to keep the promise you made, idealize the images which led you to make the promise."

Twenty-four hours later he said over the telephone: "It's easy -desire to help mother is so strong I've not even a desire to waste money." And a year later he said the same thing, and he had lived up to it, too!


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