You’re not responsible for the actions of the person next to you. You are only responsible for your own actions. To control your actions, you must have the will to do what is necessary. To use the will properly, you must build the power of the will. James Allen gives us seven simple steps to develop the will in his book, “Master of Destiny.”
Free Will, Cause and Effect
Man’s free will enables him to choose the action. The instant he chooses the action, the effect is now out of his hands as fate takes over. Fate is justice at work. All causes must be rectified with equal and proper effects. Justice is the balance in the world, that every effect is in absolute equal ration to the cause.
The true law of this universe is that of cause and effect. Character is born from deeds. Character is shaped by deeds, the cause and effect makes a man what he is. Life at its core causes a man to grow by the constant cause and effect of his choice of action and inaction. Fairness of life is irrelevant, as the more you are consciously responsible for your actions, the more you aim “fate” in the “right” direction.
Good and Evil
Man wants to relinquish responsibility for good and evil by creating an absolute good and evil in the form of deities. By creating a god outside of ourselves to whom we attribute “good” we say that nothing good can come from anything that we do. By also creating a subsequent devil, or opposition to the good god, we give all responsibility for the bad things that happen in our lives to something or someone other than the choice we made in the past. “The problem of evil subsists in a man’s own evil deeds, and it is solved when those deeds are purified.” We are the origin of any evil whatsoever in the world.
The current present is a sum of all past choices. All choices have not just instant payouts, but future payouts. It is therefore necessary that man develop his will to tolerate all things good and adverse. Handling adversity is a way of understanding life’s justice. Even if you are perfect and have paid for all previous sins, because one will always lack knowledge you will still experience learning opportunities, which seem “adverse” due to our ignorance. When we don’t develop our will, we continue in courses of action that have gotten us to the present day, which may or may not be favorable.
We Reap What We Sow
If everything comes down to our free will to choose our actions, then we must either clearly and intelligently make every one of our choices, sowing knowing what we will reap, or we will continue in our ignorance, constantly reaping the fruit of the seeds we’ve sowed, until we have learned the lesson we are being encouraged to learn by the “adverse” effects. Developing the will enables us to do what we have never done before.
The truth of our world is that you reap what you sow, every action has an equal reaction, and every cause has an effect. In order to accomplish what must be accomplished, you must build up and develop the power of your will. The power of the mind must be utilized in order to accomplish anything great, and to harness the power of the mind, one must have strength of will.
The Seven Steps
This can be accomplished in the following seven simple, everyday steps:
- Break off bad habits
- It demands we use successive efforts. Immediate pleasure is there in bad habits, and we cannot rule over ourselves if we cannot put forth the effort to break bad habits. Success gives us an increase in strength of will when we stop bad habits. Stopping bad habits requires strength of purpose.
- Form good habits
- This requires intelligent direction of purpose. We must constantly watch ourselves by being mentally active and energetic in the perfecting of ourselves.
- Give scrupulous attention to the duty of the present moment
- Thoroughness in accomplishing things can only be done by giving full attention and focus, which are powers which give us weight to our character. This requires “singleness of purpose.”
- Do vigorously and at once, whatever has to be done
- Idleness and a strong will do not and cannot operate together. Do not put off till tomorrow what can be done today. Strength, success and peace comes when we do now what we can do, not waiting till later.
- Live by rule
- We must not just live by passion. We must adhere to the rules we make for the “right government of conduct.” This gives us strength in will and reason. We should make rules to govern our conduct in every area and cling to them, not living loosely according to our mere desires at the moment.
- Control the tongue
- You must not utter anything with evil intent, impureness, without check, etc. Controlling the tongue is essential to developing the strength of will and character.
- Control the mind
- The “crown of a perfectly poised will cannot be attained without controlling the mind.” That is the true crown of a king and queen.
The little things in life are the most important, and that’s what requires us being thorough in attentiveness and gratitude. Great things come about from the small insignificant things. Few people acquire skill and excellence, which comes from developing willpower.
“The law of survival of the fittest is not based on cruelty, it is based on justice…the thoughtless and lazy cannot take precedence of, or stand next to, the thoughtful and industrious.”
To be a person of character, one must develop the will to break from all bad habits, as the first step to controlling the choices you make is seeing the choices you make as seeds being sown into your future.