Mental Strength and Willpower

There is a major factor contributing to so many people’s inability to achieve success today: they are lacking grit! Grit in this case refers to passion and perseverance, the people who begin each day thinking “Yes I can!”. Rabbi Nachman teaches us one of the most important aspects of life is the process of falling and getting back up. Those with grit are able to stand no matter how many times they fall, those who lack grit will throw in the towel after stumbling several times. I see it all the time in the members of the WhatsApp group - those who break through to success are those who persevere! How can we build our mental strength and willpower so that we push through and achieve success?

Spirituality helps guard our thoughts against negativity. Remember, you are a soul which comes from God, your potential is limitless, the only limits come from blocks you set up in your own mind. A person with grit lives life like a marathon rather than a sprint, maintaining self discipline even when no one else is watching. It is important to let your actions determine your feelings rather than allow your feelings to guide your actions. Today’s society is dominated by a thirst for instant gratification - we live in a world of buy now, pay later! True success is born of delayed gratification, patience, and an unwavering strength of will. Anything in this world worth having comes at a price, and you must pay the price before you can enjoy the rewards.

We are all born with two Yodhs - the Hara and the Hatov. The Hatov is the source of our positive thoughts and beliefs, and the Hara is the source of our negativity and doubt. In order to be successful we must shed the Yodh of Hara and focus on the Hatov. We must cool our impulses and heat up our vision. How can we go about this? You are likely stuck in a pattern of thought and behavior which is dictated by your feelings and impulses, so you must actively interrupt these thought patterns before they manifest into behaviors. It takes forty days to break a pattern, so you must commit yourself to working to interrupt impulsive and emotive thoughts consistently in order to change this pattern of thinking.

One specific area which you should learn to master is your mornings. If you wake up thinking of worst case scenarios and potential problems of the day, your life force is immediately wasted on this negativity and you are exhausted before the day has even begun. Stress obliterates our willpower as it weakens us mentally and physically, so how can we shift to tranquility in the morning? Like all things, there is a price to be paid - a tranquility tax, if you will. You need to question your thinking and upgrade your knowledge so you are mentally equipped to confront these negative thoughts and replace them with positivity and prayer.

Another common problem with society today is people’s extreme aversion to pain. Running from pain is a huge mistake, as pain is a catalyst for growth. God wants us to learn and to grow, so running away from that pain is akin to running from God’s will for your life! Any light we desire from our God comes at a price, and that price may be painful for us to pay. You may have a girlfriend you enjoy a great deal, but to receive the blessings of God you need to give her up and seek to marry your soulmate, a spiritual Jewish girl. Once you accept the price to be paid and are tough enough to do things you do not feel like doing, you will succeed. Delayed gratification is the key to success in life.

The obstacles God places between us and our desire are never more than we can handle, nor will they be easy for us to overcome, they are exactly in accordance with our abilities in that moment. Feeling an obstacle is too much for you stems from a false belief in your mind, and our beliefs turn to thoughts turn to actions. In other words, whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right! These false beliefs can easily lead us to frustration and anger, neither of which is what God wants for us. God wants our desire to grow which is why he has placed these obstacles to the reward in our path! If we are exhausted and our willpower is depleted, we will quickly grow frustrated and give up on our goal. Stress, overthinking, and poor diet are all willpower killers, so you should practice stress management, get out of your head, and maintain healthy eating habits so you approach obstacles with an intensified hunger rather than intense anger.

Rabbi Nachman’s lesson 66 contains important information pertaining to willpower and achieving success. God made us co-creators on this earth so that we can turn potential to reality. Everything in existence contains space, form, and time. These three things must be accounted for in order to turn our potential (thought) into actual (reality). The biggest issue people struggle with of these three constituents is time. Everything has a specific time it must endure before manifesting in our reality. This price of time requires patience on our part, and willpower allows us to develop and maintain our patience. Frustration from lack of patience leads to anger, which Rabbi Nachman says is detrimental to one’s livelihood. So often a person is tested by Yodh Hara with anger right before money is set to come into their lives. If they fail this test and give into anger, the money evaporates and they have missed out on the goal! Avoid anger, as it is the greatest form of arrogance and will never be rewarded. Anger is a person saying they are unhappy with what God has placed in their lives, feeling that they know better. If you have an anger problem, you should pray on it for 30 days. Better yet, pray on it and go to a mikvah so that you are cleansed of this negative energy. Do whatever it takes to rid yourself of your anger problem, for anger will only prevent you from manifesting your potential into your reality.

Nothing worth having in this life will come to you free of charge - there is a price to be paid, and often that price comes in the form of patience, strength of will, and delayed gratification. God places obstacles between you and your goal in order to increase your desire so that you persist in your quest to achieve it, learning and improving yourself along the way. Your soul loves the journey, it is your ego which loves the prize. Appreciate the journey God has laid out for you, and work to improve your willpower and patience so you can persevere and transform potential to actual!

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