Measuring your Will Power – Through your Word
Apart from subjectively assessing your will-strength by reflections and meditations, how do you objectively assess your will-strength? How good or bad is it? The test is same and applies to all 3 realms of will i.e. body-will, feeling-will and thinking-will.
Note your ‘word’ that you give to others and how many times have you have kept it or failed to keep it that day. Do this for a month. Add up all the positive and negative ones to get a clear picture of your will. This will also make you more careful in what you utter or promise.
How will it be if a person was charged for every word they gave or promises they made? Surely, it would probably make them utter their words with more care.
It’s a great tool to measure or assess someone else as well. Watch their word carefully what they say they will do and then observe if they do it or not. This will give you insights into them and help you decide if they are the kind of people you want on your team, whether you want to start a business or some project with them, whether you want to hire or fire someone, to promote someone, to trust someone, a mentor or a mentee, relationship with someone, a new friendship, a business partner and so on. This will help you decide if that person is worthy of your time, energy and emotions going ahead.
Ofcourse, everyone has that odd-bad days and you must not resort to a quick judgement on a single observation or on a single day that they are good or that they are bad both these judgements can prove erroneous and if time and situation permits then observe without making any opinion for atleast 21 days, nobody can hide their true self for that long a period.
This method of assessment is easy to adopt and will save you lot of heartaches and headaches and can be done by anyone who has strengthened their own will and along with practicing this method.
For most people, your words mean nothing to your body, they don’t care, and they are not scared of you and probably even laughing at you for all the things you keep saying you will ‘do’.
Your word should mean something but it doesn’t, you can say whatever you like, I will start doing exercise from tomorrow, I will wake up at 7am (mind you I’m not even saying 5am), I will meet you for lunch, I will send the report today, I will call you tomorrow and so on.
All these statements mean zilch to your bodies and even you know when someone uses these words it actually means nothing until they do it – although if they use the right trigger words (whether consciously or not) they could trick you around for a little bit longer.
If you notice, you are using the word ‘WILL’ everywhere in your sentences and truly there is no WILL at all. Your bodies have stopped following your orders and you need to regain control over your bodies or you will not be able to do anything in life and no one will trust you word for anything that you say you will do.
To share a story, from a few decades back,
A family had decided to go out at 9 am and this elderly gent – a Gandhian and a bureaucrat of exceptional-will who would get ready at 9 am or even a little before to attend to his family obligation of outing or visit someplace and this was the approach for all his meetings and personal and professional work as well.
This would happen each and every time whatever the time and occasion, even when he knew his family members or friends would not be ready on time, he would still honour his words that he had given himself and be ready at the designated time without any grudge or expectations knowing well that others may or may not honour it.
What was interesting to note, this would force others to step up to his standards both for his family, friends, colleagues and any others to honour their own word to meet his expectations whether it was punctuality or doing the work to its best, he did not bend to the lower common denominator but asked everyone to rise up to his and people commented that his words had the same weight of a legal contract.
Similarly during the course of my sea-career, I have worked under some exemplary ship captains with indomitable will. Their word was everything to others and also to themselves. It showed and reflected in so many facets of their life and work and also in how they carried themselves. Being strong in their will, they made others rise up to their words and not the other way round.
Your word has a direct bearing on you – as an order to your body – even when the commitment is to someone else – your body must still do that job for you. Your body must honour your word – not somebody else’s word but yours – Simply and completely – no questions asked.
You must make sure you follow through on your words as this brings in self-respect, credibility and builds your grit and perseverance. In the days of old, if someone didn’t keep a word, it usually meant they either had an accident or they had probably died or something similar like this happened to a close family member. No other excuses were used.
One of my favourite words to hear is “Done”. It’s a powerful word from will-vocabulary and shows that person either has a strong will or atleast wants to get there.
You can say “It’s not done” and then offer a sincere apology and only then follow up with your reasons and explanations. Although first, you should have really and sincerely tried hard and only when you really couldn’t do it or get it done then offer this genuine apology about not keeping your word as uttered.
Imagine a person who brings in all the elements, i.e. more thought, more feeling and more empathy of doing and some understanding of uncertainty that surrounds us along with humility of their own actions and possibilities before uttering their word.
Honour the word you give to others and before that honour it to yourself first.
Capt. Preetham Madhukar