Developing Your Will

David Trammel's picture

Procrastination and sloth is a problem we all know affects us, but we seem to put off developing ways to combat it in ourselves constantly. This isn't a new problem. Here is a book on how to develop your willpower from 1907 recommended by Greer.

"Have You A Strong Will?" by Charles Godfrey Leland

Leland puts some empathizes on self hypnosis. Greer notes in one of his Magic Monday discussions when mentioning this book, that for the people who are studying any of the occult practices to avoid self hypnosis.

"People who aren't practicing ceremonial magic can make good use of self-hypnosis, thus my recommendation. If you're practicing ceremonial magic, the method I've described -- making it a habit to do things just because you choose to do them -- is a good choice."

mountainmoma's picture

My offspring were Waldorf educated and Waldorf inspired educated. Waldorf has a very large emphasis on the development of will force in the children. This is one of its great strengths as opposed to stardard public school methods. The results can be striking as so many people in our society do not know how to get things done, or how to start or if they can. Sometimes it seems we societally get this, but we are mis-identifying, saying that they need more "self-esteme" . But what they realy need is the habit of applying themselves, doing things, completing things. The will-force to apply themselves

David Trammel's picture

I've been watching a variety of youtube videos featuring Jordan Peterson. He is a clinical psychologist teaching in Canada who made some fame when he refused his college's order to use gender pronouns. This lead to him testifying at a Canadian government agency hearing. He's quite controversial among people in the Gay/Lesbian and Trans communities.

While I can see how some of his opinions can piss people off, Peterson has a interesting way of speaking that is a little condescending and doesn't suffer fools well, much of his lectures on archetypes, religion and group dynamics make you think very hard.

In particular his stuff on mental development and self help seem spot on for a developing Green Wizard. I find he is someone that's best taken in 7-10 minute bits, with much pondering and thought afterwards.

Here's a short one on thinking before you speak:

"Make Your Bed" refers to his book on the Rules for Life. The videos for that are on Youtube.

Justin Patrick Moore's picture

Isn't it interesting how society ( esp. in regards to how important willpower is in children, as MM described) uses the word "willful" and "willfulness" with very negative connotations?

It's almost as if "they" don't want the will developed. After all, a developed will could be disruptive to the status quo. The Oxford English Dictionary has this as the first definition of Willfulness "The quality or character of being wilful; disposition to assert one's own will against reason, persuasion, etc.; determination to take one's own way; self-will, perversity, obstinacy, stubbornness."

A lot of good has come out of the Waldorf schools. Our kids went to Montessori for the most part, and my wife works at a Montessori school (running the kitchen) but the Waldorf method is more personally appealing to me.

I find Peterson an interesting character. If nothing else, that he has gotten a generation of young people reading the classics, looking at myth, etc. is a worthy accomplishment. He is quite the firebrand though. It's interesting to see how other Jungian's -Jungian's on the other side of the political spectrum- react to him with such animosity. I guess they never heard of "projecting the shadow".

David Trammel's picture

I don't have children and the ones in my immediate family are of late high school or early college years, so I can't speak to education now. I do know in the late 60s and 70s when I was in school we did get instruction on a broad range of subjects. I did though move every year of my high school due to my father's work (space program), and got to see a variety of schools.

I have recently, since the start of the pandemic, been much more active on Facebook. As well as attending protests here in St Louis in support of police reforms. As a moderate conservative on political and government issues, but a liberal on social issues I've gotten into several spirited discussions there.

As someone who runs a website and must moderate forum discussions I'm amazed how people on FB want to argue the point they want to, rather than the questions or issue raised by the original post. I posted about the recent issue of our St Louis mayor doxing (releasing personal info of someone you disagreed with) people who wanted to reform the police, and the incident where the local couple brought out their guns as protesters walked down the private street they lived on. I wanted to know what people's attitudes were about doxing in general. Several times I had to stop people who wanted to argue whether the couple had a right to defend their homes, and get them back onto the topic.

It worries me at the level of mob rule that is taking over public conversations now in such a politically charged atmosphere as we head into the election. The tolerance of different opinions seems to be getting less and less.

Willfulness, as in the ability to have your own opinions and support them in a calm manner even when others disagree with you is sorely needed now.

Justin Patrick Moore's picture

Hi David.... (&all)

I saw this on the Art of Manliness this week and thought it related to your comments...

"Have you ever had a heated disagreement with a significant other over text? You were sure an inherent flaw of theirs was to blame, and the perceived size of this flaw, along with your anger, exponentially grew as the argument progressed. Yet, when you finally got together face-to-face, feelings of affection flooded back, and your resentment instantly melted away.

Or have you ever had a friend you thought you liked immensely . . . until you started following them on social media? The longer it’d been since you’d hung out in real life, and the more their digital posts became your only interaction, the more you started to feel like you actually couldn’t stand them. Yet, when you did meet up again, you thought, “No, no, I do like this person!”

More and more of our communication these days is done in the absence of our bodies, and even our voices. But people were meant to connect in the flesh; 93% of communication is nonverbal.

When we are physically present with someone, our brain activity and biochemistry literally sync up. Our minds simulate what the other person is feeling, creating greater understanding.

Most importantly, when we meet face-to-face, we see someone holistically. Rather than seizing on the single, brittle dimension that can be rendered through gigabytes, we remember all their endearing qualities. All the happy shared memories. All the goodness which transcends our differences. We discover the nuance of their thoughts; the actions they’ve taken privately but haven’t performed for one-bit indicators of affirmation.

We see them as humans, instead of abstractions.

In war, there was an old adage, meant to preserve ammunition, which went: “Don’t fire ‘til you see the whites of their eyes.”

In the modern technological age, we’d be well-served to adopt this variation: “Don’t judge ‘til you see the windows to their souls.”"

mountainmoma's picture

Developing your will is not the same as how we use the word willfullness. Willfullness is Too Full of Will, psuedo will taken to the extreme of using wha tyou want as a bulldozer

Justin Patrick Moore's picture

I get that MM. I just think these are some interesting connections between the words. Yet, I still wonder WHY the word Willfullness has such negative connotations -perhaps it was in a time when people were expected to get in line with society and not do their own will? Just thought it would be worthy of contemplation.