A weaken will is the manifestation of many rooted problems. Let’s first learn about them:
Disintegration of the will. One’s will falls apart mostly by one’s inability to decide. Essentially, this lack of drive, for Father Joseph Kentenich, Founder of the Schoenstatt Movement, is a typical characteristic of people in our mass-produced society. We are generally comfortable and even feeling accomplished when we don’t have to decide for ourselves, but rather just keep up with the flow. However, this habit causes a deeper feeling of helplessness that is reinforced by the recurring thought: “What can I do? That’s the way I am…”
Subjectivism. Not allowing myself to be guided by my intelligence and my will in my decisions; But rather allowing my feelings to decide what I do or do not do.
A subjectivism criterion is comfort. I look for the easiest way. I only do what does not go against my comfort zone. How difficult it is to find mature personalities in this sense, personalities who do not seek what is easiest, what is most comfortable, but rather what is best!
Procrastination. There are also the postponements, the everlasting delays. Leaving for later what we should do today is major setback on our own development. When postponing things, many feel discouraged and the simple task delayed again and again starts to look like an impossible mission to accomplish. Another negative trend is to do things at the last moment, under pressure; for example, buying the present on the way to the birthday party, packing the suitcases. This only adds stress upon ourselves.
Inability to follow through. The trend of never accomplishing what has been decided. There are people who know how to decide, but at the moment of test, they fail. The Lord said it best when referring to the Pharisees: “They don’t practice what they preach” (Matthew 23:3). Strong will, constancy, dependability and action are lacking when one cannot accomplish what has been previously decided. The ever so common excuse: “I can’t, I am not capable” is often only a pretext. When someone wants to, they can. With a little bit of effort, everything is possible. Saint Paul wrote to the Philippians: “I can do all things in him who comforts me.” (Philippians 4:13)
Strive for the following in order to strengthen your will, or self-mastery:
Integration of the will. We should learn to decide. Conquer the ability to decide. Abandon the comfortable attitude of being a passive observer at the shore and fling yourself into the water.
What characteristics should our decisions have?
a) Prudent decisions. There are two extremes: the impulsive person who makes hurried decisions, and the excessively thoughtful person who has a terrible time deciding. Let us look for a happy medium between the two.
b) Free decisions. I do not decide because the TV says so. I decide because I have analyzed what they tell me and I come to the conclusion that it is correct. Then I assume it with a personal and free decision.
c) Thoughtful decisions based on moral principles. I should be able to give reasons as to why I decide to do something.
Learning to fulfill what has been decided.
To convert into facts and actions what we have decided in spite of the obstacles and difficulties, demands of us to lose the fear of failure and to lose the fear of “what will others say”.
We must come out of our comfortable zone and mediocrity and dare to do something great which is worthwhile. We must overcome our passivity. We must take the initiative and develop our creativity.
It is not about doing many things, but in doing well what we have committed ourselves to do. Don’t do things halfway, finish them! Do them well or don’t commit to them at all.
To do things well also implies taking care of details, one example is punctuality. It is a common fault in many countries to arrive 20 minutes or half an hour late. Everyone already counts on that delay. We arrive late for work, for school, and even Mass. It is a lack of responsibility and respect.
Questions for Reflection
1. How are my decisions: hurried or thoughtful?
2. Am I a punctual person?
3. Is it hard for me to make decisions?
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Translation: Carlos Cantú
Edited by: Catholic.net
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