Articles are available for reprint as long as the author is acknowledged: Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Will Power, The Key to Self-Reliance


By Domenick J. Maglio PhD Traditional Realist

Our modern culture is decreasing our need to be self-reliant. This is insidiously occurring through our willingness to give up our time to make money in a specialized world. The numerous options we have in our society to hire specialists to complete our traditional duties is limiting our opportunities and weakening our ability to be self-reliant. Whenever we face any difficulty instead of doing the job, we turn to specialists to fix it. We are constricting the range of activities we once were expected to do.

We are abdicating our responsibility as parents by hiring Super Nannies to deal with our children who are disobedient to us. We are turning to experts who do potty training, speech therapy, tutoring in any academic area and psychotherapists to deal with every emotional issue.

When the simplest things no longer function in the home we immediately contact a professional to do our work for us. Painting rooms, interior decorating, a faulty faucet, landscaping or other home chores are no longer personally tackled by us. Instead we are outsourcing them to professionals who do our dirty work for a hefty price.

The additional expense is not the primary shortcoming in this economic transaction. Rather it is the loss of opportunity that shows us we are able to successfully complete more things than are listed in our professional job description. We are not challenging our thought processes outside of work in various everyday issues to realize the incredible power of our minds.

Humans have done amazing acts when they focus their minds to survive. Aron Ralston was trapped between boulders in Utah for five days. He chose to amputate his own arm with a dull multi tool to save his life. People have the ability to put off almost certain death waiting to say goodbye to a loved one. Individuals have been buried for many days under tons of debris without food or water and have used every bit of their will power to stay alive.

Will power is the same force when applied to a different skill like raising a child, playing an instrument or a sport, learning advanced math or a foreign language that teaches the person the miraculous results of focusing the mind. This unleashing the inner energy of our brain to give us the impetus and insight needed to solve problems is a force, which we are losing.

President Obama's Osawatomie, Kansas speech on December 6, 2011, is a denouncement of rugged individualism as unworkable. It is a failure on his part to recognize American exceptionalism. The U.S. was propelled to the leadership of the world due to our citizens’ ability to overcome hardships through their own efforts and not by depending on government to bail them out of these personal difficulties. Americans were rugged because our society promoted sacrifice and delayed gratification in the usual ups and downs in life. The hardworking person would face the problem head-on and would triumph. They were not political sheeple.

Our current culture is sending a radically different message. Our pop culture is focused on instant gratification not on disciplining our minds to increase our critical thinking and problem solving. Rather than being pro active and confronting a real problem, our culture says " relax, no problem, man", or "chill." Someone else will take care of it. This passive route is easier though nonproductive when compared to actively applying one’s energies to solve everyday difficulties.

Social networking media may make us falsely popular, gaming may make participants feel brilliant but neither gives us the opportunity to learn what works in reality. The problem with these activities is they produce no tangible results in improving our existence. They do not give a person the same meaningful lessons that improve the mind by actually accomplishing something.

The United States cannot continue being the leader of the free world if we avoid confronting the challenges of life. We cannot continue in a virtual existence devoid of reality. In order to grow as people we need to face reality and allow it to teach us what works and what does not.

Only by people being well rounded, tackling new challenges and solving them can we be a robust and innovative country. A person sharpens his mind by persevering until he successfully finishes a difficult task. He learns that disciplined focus eventually pays dividends of financial and mental strength to keep him free.

Americans have to choose between a life of self indulgence and passive non productive activities that numb our minds or confronting the annoying, mundane issues that have faced mankind from the beginning of time. Solving daily problems gives us confidence to overcome the next obstacle. These occurrences help us prove to ourselves that we can do anything when we focus our minds. Our accumulated economic, relational and moral accomplishments as citizens have created the foundations of our stable and prosperous nation.

When people know they can handle their own problems they resent government interference of offering goods and services that will rob them of their liberty. Being free means a person wants to make his own decisions. Accepting bribes “to get something for nothing” means the nothing is your savings and freedom. Independent souls are resistant to desiring more government as they relish freedom.

The individual’s development of will power is an essential force in being successful in the world of hard knocks known as reality. Self-competence makes people tougher and more aware of the world around them. These self-disciplined people are the backbone of a competitive free market society.

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