Every man needs to possess the ability to do what he needs to do, when he needs to do it, whether he feels like it or not.
In the same manner, if a man simply does what he intends to do, he will be successful beyond his wildest dreams.
That’s the essence of what an iron will is.
More than talent, luck, fortune, or ‘blessings’, an iron will or a lack of one will determine how well you live in the form of success, happiness, meaning, and even power.
You’re powerless if you see yourself as a victim, and powerful if you see the truth; that you can overcome anything put in front of you.
This isn’t motivational nonsense, but fact, and it’s been proven in nearly every case of achievement (likely actually in every case).
An iron will makes success inevitable, because no obstacle will stand for too long, no failure will last, no down period will endure longer than you will.
Call it by whatever name you want, success, achievement, happiness, freedom, men need power.
We get power by being powerful.
An iron will won’t make your life easier. Life is not easy. Man, there’s just horrible things that happen, things that you never expected to happen. That’s life.
I’m with you in this. They happen to us all. They aren’t fair, but they are, and we can’t label them or paint them with the vail of emotion because that does no good.
An iron will is deciding to be indestructible, persistent, driven, and successful, and there are things you can do to make this possible.
Even if you feel weak, down, out of control, like a weed being tossed around by the ocean’s waves, you can develop an iron will.
To start, buy An Iron Will, by Orison Swett Marden.
Second, understand that greatness, be it modern or historic, has always been a matter of doing what you must, regardless of how you feel.
99.9999% of the humans on this planet do not do this. They rationalize inaction, rest, TV, and so on. It’s really simple, but it’s difficult to create the habit, as I’m sure you know.
How to Develop an Iron Will…
1. Do fewer things.
Do things once. Most worry about things, do them, then worry about them afterward. Just do the thing. Don’t worry about anything, just do the task, then move to the next thing.
2. Determine what you need to stop doing.
Remove the unnecessary from your life.
3. Be focused, intentioned, obsessed.
This doesn’t mean you have to do one thing and not live your life. But, you do have to put the vast majority of your energy into one thing. Buffett and Gates both said their ability to focus was the reason for their success.
Whatever you want in life takes energy. Focus on the right things, don’t give attention to the wrong things.
4. Get stronger from challenges.
The wind extinguishes a candle but fuels a fire. Challenges are that wind. Step up to them and use them. Also, read Antifragile by Nicolas Nassim Taleb. Don’t be fragile, be antifragile.
My own personal way to develop an iron will…
This is more stoic, but when I think about the totality of it all, of life, and when I lay out expectations for how it will go, should go, or even how I want it to go while I’m in the midst of tragedy, can be overwhelming.
Let’s say you expected to be married and with kids, and you go through a break up, or you expected to have a certain house while you’re struggling to pay the mortgage on the one you own.
Those expectations are not your reality, and to focus on them is detrimental at the moment.
Don’t expect things to go a certain way, just do the best with what you have and with where you are.
You have to focus on the moment and the work that has to be done now, regardless of how you feel.
Daydreaming and wishing things were different will send you crashing down, while removing those expectations and simply doing the work will lead you to success.
In theory it’s an easy choice, but to actually put it into practice is difficult, but it can be done.
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