There’s no denying that life in the twenty-first century is demanding. There never seems to be enough time to do all the things that need to be done: keep up with work or studies, spend time with family, earn enough money to pay the rent and buy necessities. With so many challenges to cope with, you may ask yourself, “Why should I expend any effort in giving?” or “I’m already scrambling to deal with all the demands and pressures on me. How will I find time and resources to give more?” or “No one gives to me, so why should I give to others?”
I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when parents still told their kids to go outside and play. My friends and I would spend all day in the yard and when we got hot and sweaty enough we’d run to the back patio, open the water spigot on the side of the house and get down on our hands and knees so we could get low enough to turn our mouths up for a drink of water that splashed all over our faces and down our necks.
In the evenings I remember seeing my parents shaking their heads as they watched the oil crises in the 1970’s unfold on the nightly news. Gas prices skyrocketed to 73 cents a gallon! “Turn it off,” my mother would say to my dad. “Good grief! The wheel’s are coming off but they make it sound like the world’s ending.”
Mary squirmed in her chair as she continued, “I just don’t know what is wrong with me. Why can’t I just do it? I feel stressed all the time when I’m not writing. ‘I should be writing’, I say to myself, but I don’t. I think, if I just get the laundry done, then I’ll be free to sit down and write the next chapter. But then I don’t. Maybe I need to exercise first, and I go for a run.
I get back home, fully intending to sit down at the computer. But I don’t. And all the while I’m feeling bad and stressed about not writing. What is wrong with me? Maybe I’m just lazy. Or maybe unconsciously I don’t really want to write. Or maybe it just means that I’m not really cut out to be a writer. ‘Writers write’, I tell myself.
Everyone has some power, but not everyone develops it to the same degree. Here are some methods to train yourself to become more powerful.
A good way to build power and especially self-discipline is to progressively train yourself to tackle bigger challenges. When you train your muscles, you lift weights that are within your ability. You push your muscles until they fail, and then you rest. Similarly, you can develop your power by taking on challenges that you can successfully accomplish but that push you close to your limits. This doesn’t mean trying something that’s beyond your strength and failing at it repeatedly, nor does it mean playing it safe and staying within your comfort zone. You must tackle challenges that are within your current ability to handle but which are close to your limit.