“Nothing succeeds like success”, is a proverb, also expressing the general idea that success does breed success.
Since the outcome of successful willing is the satisfaction of one’s needs, we can see that the act of will is essentially joyous. And the realization of … being a self … gives a sense of freedom, of power, of mastery which is profoundly joyous. (Roberto Assagioli).1
Every choice or decision we make is an act of will. At times, we are not aware that we have chosen, and may even feel like a total victim with no choice at all. Nevertheless, wherever we are and whatever we are doing, it is our choice. Without making a choice, we could not stay where we are or move to anywhere else. Without making a choice, we could not either stop what we are doing or continue doing it. Every time we make a choice, we do an act of will. Will power is the dynamic energy that brings us into this world and if we consciously connect with this energy, it gives us the ability to do and become whatever we wish.
We have many inner powers and the right use of these powers can enable us to make the best choices for our own well-being and the world around us. We can only make these choices, however, through developing these inner powers in a balanced and conscious way. The discovery of our will and its later training is important work, best achieved through direct experience. If we make a comparison with a car, the first thing we have to learn is [that] there is an engine through which we can choose to move the car. Then we have to find ways of using that engine so that we can travel in the direction that is best for us at any given moment.
Of course, a lot of the time our experience is very different from this. Even if we are aware that we have a car, it certainly does not feel like we are in the driver’s seat! We are drifting or muddling along as if we are the victims of our circumstances. We see ourselves as the victims of where we are or who we are, of poverty or depression, of failure or even success! We are the victims of other people who made us whatever we are, or stop us [from] doing what we wish. We feel as if we are not free to choose what we want. From childhood, parents, teachers and other ‘well wishers’ tell us that we need to face the ‘reality’ of life. The message, that we cannot have everything we want, easily becomes one that says we cannot have anything we want.
If someone asks us to do something, the two obvious responses are yes and no. We can say we will or we will not. Yet usually we have a third choice available to us – ‘not for now’. We do not have to limit ourselves by saying yes or no when ‘not for now’ is more appropriate. Sometimes it is right to make quick and immediate responses. The question at hand needs a fast response or it is so obvious the choice needed. Often, however, we can take the time to consider our choices and make them in a more centered, balanced way. The more consciousness we bring into our decisions, the more we are able to choose what the right decisions are for us.2
During our summer trip abroad, we spent the most time traveling and studying in Italy (i.e., four out of a total of eight weeks). We lived in the artsy and small town of Pietrasanta. While there, I became familiar with many local residents.
My biggest thrill by far was in having the unexpected pleasure of teaching some of the area boys and girls how to improve their basketball skills at a local Private Catholic school right in the center of town and having the good fortune of making friends with a number of residents.
However, from an educational perspective, my reasons for being in Italy as a student involved learning to read and speak the italian language, to study European art and architecture, and to gain hands on experience in using power sculpting tools to carve white Carrara marble out of stone.
- Parfitt, W. (2006). Psychosynthesis: The Elements and Beyond “to live with a vision that comes from deep within oneself”. PS Avalon Publishing. Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 8YR, U.K.