The soul is the will, mind, and emotions all rolled into one. The will leans closer to the other two that have more power.
If the emotions are more powerful than the mind, the will easily submits to emotions. If the mind is more powerful, the will submits easily to it also.
At times, a powerful mind that has subdued the emotions turns on the will as a last step to victory. You have the practical will to do something once the mind and the emotions jointly agree on what is right. A powerful emotion that has subdued the mind has the same effect. Together, you will find that you have the intense emotional will to pursue something to satisfy a feeling.
The will is the determination to achieve an end. It can be propelled or empowered by an emotion or a concept. A soldier has the will to defeat the enemy by loving his country or knowing the benefits of freedom. Though seldom, it can be both. A soldier of a dictatorship, though he does not know real freedom, will fight to defend the dictatorship because he loves his country. Some foreign soldiers defend other countries.
They may not love the country they’re fighting for, but they want to maintain democracy and political stability in it. Sometimes, they may even be forced to rescue a dictator they hate. The will is in the center of a tug-of-war between the emotion and the mind.
More simply put, a child often faces the choice of eating a candy because he loves sweets, or not eat it because his doctor said it’s not good for his tonsils. A strong willed lad, they say, will opt to go by what the mind decides is practical. What they call a weak willed lad would go by what he loves. He will fulfill immediate wants, even if he knows they are bad for him. Actually, both wills are strong. We may classify them as intellectual will and emotional will.
To be successful in commanding the emotions, the first job of the mind is to win the full support of the will. This means you must train yourself to be intellectually willed. When this is achieved, the rest is a piece of cake. Both the will and the emotions will submit to the mind.
When There’s A Will
A will, whether intellectual or emotional, always provides a way. Is it possible to have no will? The mere fact of having no will is a will in itself. You willed to have no will. Everybody is given a choice. Choice is the exercise of your will. If you opt to forfeit your choice, that’s your choice.
Thus, it is foolish to say that there’s no way a certain job could be done, or a certain problem could be solved. There’s always a way; unless of course, you will to give up the fight. However, the act of giving up is in itself another way of dealing with the matter. Chances are, if you give up on something, it is an emotional will. You might simply feel lazy, so you choose to lose.
It could also be a practical or intellectual one. You might see that a matter is not that important, and that other more important things need your attention. So you will to set the matter aside for a while, and attend to other things. Hence, when there’s a will, there’s always a way.
There’s always a way to release an emotion. You can choose to do it either intellectually or emotionally. The easier way is the emotional release. However, this does not change everything radically and may even result to undesirable outcomes. The intellectual release is the better way.
The intellectual will always asks, “How important is it, really?” This will goes through the thorough examination and weighing of your fussy mind. If important, the will focuses on its accomplishment. If not important, the will focuses on disregarding it. When you are overweight and you want to lose weight (because your mind tells you it’s healthy), the mind imposes strict discipline on the will to eat only healthy foods.
By the strong prodding of your practical mind (and by the cooperation of your will), you easily reject delicious but unhealthy foods.
When someone hurts you, the mind weighs the situation at once and asks, “How important is this person to me? Why would I let him ruin my day? Will I be a better person if I retaliate?” If the person is not important, then you may command your will to ignore whatever he did. Your mind and will may jointly tell your emotion to remain unaffected. If the person is important, you may have the same reaction. Your mind might say, “Anyway, no real harm was done. I’m still alive. I might as well celebrate being alive.”
This does not ask any question. It only magnifies how you feel. The will succumbs to how you feel and feeds it. Thus, you eat the unhealthy foods you love though you are overweight, because the emotion convinces your will that it’s okay to do such. Your happiness and satisfaction count the most.
If someone hurts you, your strong emotion would overreact and magnify the thing done. Then it commands your will to satisfy what your emotion craves for — anger. Often, the mind do some function here, but only what the emotion and will jointly tell it to do. Usually, it is left with no other option than to justify the anger. “I hit him because he said this!” or “I hit him because he hit me first!”
Empowering The Mind To Command The Will
A key to commanding your emotions is to empower the mind so it can control the will. Empowering the mind does not mean taking up more college courses or a master’s degree. Even some PhD’s and masters are emotionally willed rather than intellectually. They easily succumb to the “desires of the flesh” without thinking over their consequences.
Empowering the mind for commanding emotions is more of training it to subject the will to its decisions. Try to examine this sentence: “I will never be envious of Ana.” Note that “I” comes before “will.” This means your mind (the “I”) has authoritatively decided and concluded that stopping being envious of Ana will do the best thing for “I.” The “I” commands the “will” never to be envious of Ana.
Now, try to reverse the sequence of the two words “I” and “will”. It will look this way: “Will I never stop being envious of Ana?” The positive declaration earlier now becomes a question. With this kind of thought turning into a question, the mind is not empowered. Instead, its power and authority over the will is either questioned or undermined, or both.
Empowering the mind entails training it to assert its prominence and preponderance over the will. The first phase of the war is a battle between the mind and the will. When the will is conquered, their joint forces will overpower the emotion.
When the will, mind, and emotions go berserk
What happens when the will, mind, and emotions go separate ways? This results in a weak-willed character. Take these cases:
CASE 1: Have you seen a person who is all talk? Only a few (if any) about what he says is true in his life. He is a case of a mind that has no command over his will and emotions. If what you think is not what you truly believe in, you end up being like this man. All you have is head-knowledge. You are what they call a mere Pretender.
Belief as a mere head-knowledge is a sign of a failed mind. This does not mean a weak brain or a dull mind. The mind, in this case, may even be intelligent. It may even know a lot of things and be very smart. It may even earn titles and degrees in school. Yet, it has terribly failed in conquering the will and emotions. What it knows does not bear fruit in the will and emotions. In short, what it knows to be the best is not shown in the life it carries.
This mind may know a lot of principles, but is far from being truly principled. It knows the disciplines, but it has no disciplined life.
CASE 2: On the other hand, if you are all emotions but no action, you are what they call as a Procrastinator. You depend entirely on your emotions. If it feels good to you, it must be correct. You never mind if it is not good or correct, what’s important is that you feel it. Hence, most procrastinators put off for tomorrow what can be done now. They already feel good just desiring what must be done or what is correct. They feel there’s little need of actualizing it in their lives.
There is no sense of urgency.
Feeling good about what is correct but showing no action or change due to it is a sign of a weak mind and will. Emotions can take charge of the body for a while; but without the cooperation of the mind and the will, nothing done would last long. Procrastinators may also start what needs to be done immediately, but whether they will continue doing it the next day is quite another story.
CASE 3: The worst kinds are those who feel good about something, start doing it, and then maintain a semblance of doing it for a long time — without really believing in it. We will call them Robots. As we know, robots don’t have a mind of their own, and they have no will of their own. They just follow orders. But robots don’t feel anything either, you might say.
Our robots here do not have feelings of their own, but only what is fed to them —public opinion. They go by what is fashionable, by what is the latest fad or trend. When they see what clicks other people, they join the bandwagon. It doesn’t matter if they are not really interested about a trend or whether they really believe it is correct. They say, “If everybody’s doing it (especially the people they look up to), it must be correct. So let’s go do it!” That’s their motto in life.
A robot character is a sign that the emotions have wrestled power from the mind, pretty much like a coup de etat. It’s like the emotions have held the mind its prisoner, and the will its hostage. The reason why it can prolong its activity is that the mind and will are dragged unwillingly to what it does. The mind is strictly prohibited to stop a while and analyze if what is being done is indeed really important.
Remember the intellectually willed? It stops awhile to ask and analyze, “Is this really correct? Is this really important? Will I die if I don’t do this? Or is this just a non-essential thing masquerading as a truth?” The intellectually willed unmasks all pretensions and fakes. The robot wears others’ faces.
All of the above — the Pretenders, the Procrastinators, and the Robots —have a common denominator. The mind is weak so that the will and emotions do not cooperate with it.
The worst thing is, at times the will even acts independently from the mind and emotions. It just does things to while time away. Never mind if it is wrong or doesn’t feel good. Never mind if the public is against it or not. These may be called Zombies. They live in limbo (neither alive nor dead). Zombies do not have a mind or emotions of their own. They just walk around looking for something to eat.
You got this book because you want extreme command of your emotions. That means you don’t want to end up just being a pretender, a procrastinator, a robot, and much less a zombie. Then you have to empower your mind to rule over your will and emotions. You must start to become a very principled individual in total control of his emotions, and later, his body and environment.
All the above depends on how powerful the mind is. How powerful the mind is, in turn, depends on how well you train it.
Mind training and strengthening
The outcome of any battle and war largely depends on how well the participants have trained. Here are some exercises on how you can train your mind well to recruit the will over to your side and conquer your emotions:
GET ENOUGH SLEEP.
Lack of sleep makes the mind weak, especially in discernment and judgment. What more if you have a bad sleeping habit of staying awake late at night? Just look at car accidents at night due to sleepy drivers. Their feeling of being so sleepy overwhelms their minds’ decision to drive safely. Number one consideration in safe driving is of course staying awake. It is important to have 6 to 8 hours of quality sleep daily to strengthen mind power.
GET ENOUGH REST
Aside from good sleep, the mind ought to get sufficient rest daily. Rest here means as little stress as possible. Distress is a definite no-no. Meditation is the best rest the mind can have. Some mind experts assert that having dreams in sleep means only the body is getting a rest, not the mind.
Thus, meditation is necessary in mind empowerment. The best way to meditate is to enjoy a serene surrounding early in the morning while breathing deeply and slowly. As you do this, think of nothing except how the fresh air you inhale revitalizes your brain, blood, lungs, and eventually, all your body functions. If possible, meditate in places that afford fresh air like the beach, parks, or forests.
The best type of rest is to meditate on the Book of Psalms and Proverbs in the Bible. Equally recommended is to read and meditate on the life of Christ in the Gospel. Regardless of your religion, and even if you are an atheist, these materials afford a meditative literature that enhances mind focus and rest. They relax your soul (mind, will, and emotions) and give you a better perspective.
EAT HEALTHY FOODS
Eating too much carbohydrate can make you sleepy. Consuming too much fats and spices can mess up your blood pressure. High blood pressure interferes with your mind power. Some nutritionists say spices degenerate mental capacity. On the other hand, if you are afflicted with high blood pressure, emotions (especially anger) usually gets the better of you. This ailment intensifies your negative emotions.
Exercise frequently just enough to give you a sweat. Aerobics is advisable, but the best is Tai Chi. Tai Chi gives you the needed breathing and exercise that empowers your mind, but does not exhaust your body. Tai Chi practitioners are known for having a strong intellectual will power. Some are even said to be able to control not only their emotions but their bodies as well. A well-known Tai Chi technique is learning to control the body of your opponent.
STICK TO YOUR INTELLECTUAL PRIORITIES
Setting your practical priorities for the day is a good practice only if you train yourself to abide by them. To strictly adhere to your priorities, you have to fight off lots of temptations. Your emotions will always try to assert itself once you start to make your practical mind prevail.
Try this. List down the things you think you ought to accomplish for a day. Don’t deal with your wishes (which often feed your emotions), but deal only with what you see and think is really important. This ought to make your list a very simple one, and therefore manageable. Scratch out the things you really don’t need.
Below is a sample of a list to do on a Saturday:
From the list above, you will note that the choices are pretty much a challenge. It’s hard not to watch the final episode of your favorite TV series, for example. Moreover, it is tough to ignore the free delicious dinner where you get to meet old pals. Saturdays are supposed to be rest and fun days. So why sacrifice and prefer household chores and scratch out all the fun?
The practical mind will agree that the checked items above are important and the scratched ones are not. It’s a sacrifice to disregard the scratched items, but they’re not really that important. The important thing is to throw out the garbage (for hygiene), for instance, and to bond with your spouse and kids.
However, the emotional part of you will protest. It will say, “Preferring to read your kids a bedtime story over a swell dinner with long-time-no-see friends is easier said than done.” They would add, “You can always have a sitter watch your kids,” and other justifications to give way to your capricious cravings.
You have to train yourself to stick to your priority list. Fight off temptations. You can be lenient from time to time, or on other days — attend dinners and watch your favorite soap operas now and then — but try to accomplish the rigid Saturday priority list more often. Make sure you implement the list. This will train you to gradually assert your mind over your will. You can begin with small simple steps.
Try to have two Saturdays off each month from your rigid priorities. Then next month, have one Saturday off. On the third month, start implementing the rigid priorities all Saturdays of the month. No more offs.
Another exercise is to cut on the food you eat each meal. For the first one or two weeks, cut on your carbohydrate intake. On the third week, cut carbohydrates totally from your supper each night. Then do it each lunch and supper on the fourth week. On the fifth week, while maintaining zero-carbohydrates each lunch, eat only fresh vegetables or fresh fruits for supper. You will find that this exercise slowly reduces your craving for food to rule your will.
It empowers the authority of your mind to command the will, and later the emotions, to compliance.
Device your own strategies on how to train your mind further to take full control of your will and emotions. In each strategy, make a practical list of priorities or principles that appeal to your mind, not to your emotions. Remember the intellectually willed question? “Is this really important?” Is it a real need, or just a desire or whim? Then, implement gradually, becoming more stringent as you go further.
You can use the same exercise when shopping. Often, when you have the money or credit card at hand, it’s almost too impossible to be practical in shopping. Stimuli will bombard you left and right, all reinforced to the maximum with very tempting advertisements. Once your senses catch the readings (stimuli), your mind analysis and emotional reaction can go crazy. The emotions often get the upper hand, and the will and mind just give way.
Here is an ideal time to start training your mind to command your emotions. Decide on your intellectual priorities, assert them, and stick to them come what may. Command your will to fall on its knees, and tell your emotions to shut up.
An advisable strategy when shopping is to make a list of the things you NEED to buy. Make sure there is nothing that merely appeals to emotion. Then, set out to the mall or grocery with a strong determination to stick to your list. When you are in the actual shopping place, dozens of promotions and special discounts will try to lure you in aborting your original plan.
Tell yourself — or anybody with you who is trying to veer you off course — that “we came here for some definite goals, and that non-priority product is not one of them!”
ALWAYS BE ANALYTICAL
Train yourself to assume an analytical attitude. Daily, you are presented with various life situations that challenge you to either act or just react. In other words, these situations goad you to be intellectually or emotionally willed. Situations are analyzed by the mind which sends a report to your emotions. Then everything usually ends with an emotional burst. You just react.
This time reverse the ending. Act rather than react. Analyze everything. Tell yourself, “Now wait a minute. Before I let this silly thing scare me or make me angry, I want to make sure it’s really scary or worth being angry about. If it’s nothing, I don’t want to waste time or energy on it.”
If it turns out to be scary, ask yourself why you need to let it scare you. Will you just allow it to make you react? Are you just going to let it dictate how you would feel? Reacting in exactly the way a stimulus “wants” you to only gives “satisfaction” to it. So why give it what it wants? For sure, there is a better option available to you: Ignore the stimulus. Act in reverse.
Let’s say in the middle of the night, your burglar alarm sounds off. Burglar alarms often indicate a burglary. This is often the case, right? It’s either you go out of your room and check, or you panic and shout for help from your neighbors. Worse, you grope for a weapon and go after some moving thing lurking in the shadows and attack. These are all emotionally triggered from start to finish.
If you choose to be analytical, the moment the alarm sounds, you become alert, keep calm, stay in your locked room, and do nothing abrupt. You may try to analyze the situation like this. First of all:
Just call the police. Stay in your locked room and command your emotions to calm down. Burglars are also humans. For all you know, they might even be more scared than you are.
Another example is a time when you watch a movie or a TV show. People’s common reaction to what they watch is to go along with the intended mood of what is being presented. If it is drama, they go along and feel sad. Some even cry. If it is action, they feel tensed and excited. Some get mad at the bad characters and sympathize with the good characters. Some even begin to hate the actors who played the bad roles.
The audience merely react according to how the presenters want such reactions to emanate.
To train your mind not to simply react or go along with emotional tendencies, intelligently analyze what you watch. Don’t let yourself be too carried away, but reserve lots of space for intelligent criticism. Detach yourself now and then to critique everything.
Do the actors and actresses perform as their roles demand? Are the plot and sequences believable? Is that what really happens in real life? How were the special effects made possible? Try to imagine how a scene was shot by imagining that you were there on location shooting.
These simple exercises strengthen the mind to take the lead on how your will and emotions should go. Don’t let your emotions lead your mind on the way it should think. Let your mind lead your emotion on the way it should act or react.
PRACTICE BEING LOGICAL
Many say being logical is the exact opposite of being emotional. Like analysis, logic is one of the deadly tools of the mind. Logic whips emotions to obedience, somewhat like the way lion tamers crack the whip to make the beast sit and behave. When logic tames the emotions, the will acts more firmly. Logic enforces what the mind wants to accomplish. It gives legitimacy to the mind as a ruler. It’s like a president of a nation winning an election by a landslide.
Finishing your schooling before marriage is a good goal. The practical mind will go for it. But just because your mind has as good a goal as finishing your schooling, doesn’t necessarily mean the emotions will also jump with excitement — especially when your heart is aching to marry the woman you love. Logic may add power to your mind. It may argue that a finished education makes for a more stable career that can make lots of money.
All these spell a good marriage and a good future for the family. You do not negate your emotions by this; but rather, you put them in their proper perspective. Problems only arise the moment you deprive yourself of your right to emotions. Commanding emotions does not mean restraining them, but putting them in their proper places.
ACT ON NEEDS, NOT DESIRES
Always act based on a need, not on a desire. Train yourself to screen your motives always. Choose only what you need and set aside what you merely desire. Your needs need immediate attention. Your desires, well, they can be ignored for a while. Return to them when you are trained enough to have your mind as the master of your will and emotions. While in training, never give in to any desire that detracts you from the more important things in life.
NEVER GIVE UP ON ANYTHING JUST BECAUSE IT’S HARD
When something is difficult to do, the “flesh” or the emotion is likely to find other easier things to do it. Nothing is bad about looking for an easier way to do a difficult thing. What is unacceptable is the attitude of giving up on something just because it is hard to do.
The emotions often do well when commanded by the mind. You can be very excited to do a very practical thing, and this is good. But when the emotions are independent of the mind, they usually opt for what is convenient. Convenience is not always the best for us. Many good things entail long and hard work to accomplish. Most non-essentials are very easy (and very tempting) to do. They often offer a better alternative. They appeal to the emotions.
Rather than read a book that boosts the intellect or the soul, the emotions often find gossiping, watching TV, reading books on romance, slandering, or reading about famous people easier to do.
The next time you find something hard to do, DO IT! Find a simpler way to do it or do it the hard way, it doesn’t matter — just do it!
STARVE YOUR EMOTIONS A LITTLE
Emotions are needed, but we need to tame them to submit to our minds. To make your emotions submit, you must have them a bit weaker than your mind. Thus, feed your mind with practicality feasts, and sometimes starve your emotions.
If you’re given a choice between seeing a movie or cleaning the whole house, go for the latter. If you love roasted turkey or beefsteak, and you’re given a choice between these or bland vegetables, then settle for the latter. Do this often. Cut down on the number of times you give way to what you love doing, and stress more on what you think ought to be done.
LEARN TO LOVE WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
Doing what you don’t like is the worst scenario to have in life. Besides, it is bad for your health. Even if you do what you think is practical, if you don’t love it, you fail nonetheless. It only means that your mind has only conquered the will, but not the emotions. The emotions remain unconquered and rebellious, just waiting for the right time to re-assert itself back to the throne. The result will be a life full of sacrifices - forcing yourself on something you don’t like to do.
This is typical of the convinced overweight who decided on a rigid diet of everything he hated to eat. It went on for a while. Soon he gave up. His love for unhealthy foods is just too much to overcome.
The proper way is to train the mind, not just to defeat the emotions; but also to make them submit, so that it commands the emotions. Without this, the mind’s victory will just be temporary. The mind must be able to “teach” the emotions to love what is needful.
After sessions of the exercises listed in this book (plus several more from your self-devised strategies), you gradually subdue your emotions, “mold” them, feed them with what is practical and correct, until your emotions begin to really “love” to do what your mind commands them to. Soon, you would be surprised to see that your emotions have been so accustomed to the assertions of your mind that they would even begin to “hate” to do things that merely cater to vain desires.
Your senses pick up stimuli 24 hours a day. The brain receives and analyzes them. Then they are sent to various internal organs, body systems, or parts. Each time a stimulus comes along, always imagine the process. Then don’t let the process end with the emotions giving a reaction. Help your brain assert itself. When the message is sent to a body part, follow up with another message from the brain. This time, make it a message of command — the command to positive action, not just reaction.
Let’s say, someone insults you in public and says you’re an idiot. In a quick moment, the brain has sent the message across that says, “Humiliation!” The body feels it, and gets terribly hurt. But before it can decide on a reaction, don’t let your mind passively “watch” your emotion control your body. Tell yourself, “Oh, come on! This is nothing! It’s nothing like a lethal gunshot wound or something that spurts your blood all over the place. You won’t die of this.
And you can’t let your silly ego or emotional will triumph over your mind.” Moreover, show yourself as someone who is more civilized than the jerk who said you’re an idiot. Let him humiliate himself to everybody looking that he is the idiot, not you.
Instead of the usual bursting of emotions and the cursing from your mouth, command yourself not to react. Is it true that you’re an idiot? Of course not. Then why get angry if it’s not true. Even if it’s true, tell yourself that truths only set you free. Mentally give thanks for being set free.
Intercept your emotions with a mental command, and let it conclude everything in a positive act. When you keep this going, you empower your mind to control your will and tame your emotions.
“But what about the humiliation?” your hurt emotion will insist. If it’s not true that you’re an idiot, why feel humiliated? Even if it’s true, why feel humiliated? So what if people overheard? The whole truth is that it’s more humiliating to humiliate somebody in public. Just keep quiet and let negative public opinion bury the offender slowly in the grave of public disgust. Public opinion always sides with the offended party.
The good news is, when you can always easily pull out of a scenario like the one above — rationalizing offenses against you and responding positively — you have mastered your emotions and are ready to go to the next higher level: having extreme command of your whole body, not just emotions. Do you know you can command your body not to get sick? We shall discuss a bit about this and other possibilities later.
The Full Potential Of The Mind
A last word on mind empowerment must deal about the yet unexplored potentials of the mind that are waiting to be discovered. The head was not put on top of the body for nothing. The eyes, ears, nose, and tongue (EENT) were not placed on the head for nothing. The mind serves something like a monitor, radar, processor, and controller for the whole body.
Have you noticed how other parts of the body (like the hands, legs, and feet) cannot move in full swing without first getting a clearance from the mind? The mind cannot give clearance unless the EENT give it facts and data. The command module, as it were, comes from the head.
From the above observations, we can venture to imagine that the mind was originally designed to dominate and control all other body functions.
From what man has discovered so far, we know that the mind controls the bone and muscle movements. What we also know so far is that there are other body parts like glands and organs that act “voluntarily.” This means nothing in the body, not even the brain, can force them to function as they do. They cannot be controlled. That’s what we know so far.
But some people think that the above thinking is not the last word on brain power and functions of the body. Some believe that what we know so far about the brain is a mere fraction of what it actually is and could actually do. If you are amazed at what modern super computers can do, you must be more amazed by the brains that made them.
If you think that there’s no end to what computers could do, and that someday, as PCs keep improving by the day, they would do more totally unbelievable things (even control the world?), think of what the brain can accomplish someday.
We’re talking not only of the mind controlling the body and commanding sickness to cease from attacking it, but also perhaps even controlling the environment, the atmosphere, and who knows, even other worlds out there. If you believe that computers can do anything in the future, then won’t you also believe in the unlimited potential of the mind that created them?
To believe in the higher potentials of the brain is not only to nod mentally in agreement to it. It must be implemented daily through rigid progressive training to empower the mind. The journey has to begin in small steps. If you cannot command your emotions to obedience, you cannot go on targeting higher extraordinary aims.
If you make emotions surrender unconditionally, you make them allies of the mind. Nevertheless, do not underestimate the strength of the emotions. At times they can be so tremendous they can make everything and everybody bow down. Emotions are often so canny that they have the power to deceive without being noticed. They can even take on the guise of being truth and urgent. Hence, the mind must be extra sharp. This calls for nothing less than utter seriousness.