Control of will 

Acting on your own initiative  

Do a simple act without purpose at a fixed time each day.

You decide to do a simple act daily at a fixed time during an period of four weeks. This act does not have a direct meaning and is only useful as an exercise. The act could be anything, e.g. pulling your left earlobe, taking out your handkerchief and putting it back into your pocket again, untying and tying your shoelaces, rolling back one sleeve of your sweater, or deflating and re-inflating the tire of your bike. The variations are endless, but make sure that you have the necessary attribute with you when you need it.

You can do the exercise at the same fixed time every day, or - and this is more difficult - you can decide on a time each day in the morning.

The difficulty of this exercise is not to think of a senseless act, but to do it every day at the time set by yourself. Often you think of doing the exercise an hour before the set time, again fifteen minutes before the set time, five minutes...., and then the phone rings or someone says something to you and the next time you think about the exercise it is an hour later. And you really wanted to do the exercise! Still, you were preoccupied with what others wanted from you or you were distracted by some thought that came along. If you are late for the exercise, it is still good to do it.

The meaning of the fixed time is that you must keep your aim and at the same time restrain yourself until the time has come. Your awareness of what you really want will grow by this.

The exercise is called acting on your own initiative. The goal is to take the initiative in your actions, to better direct your will and to your stand fastness.

Many, if not most actions in a day are done because they have to be done or they are done for other people. There are not many acts that we really do for ourselves. The exercise is a commitment to yourself to do something. Such a commitment is harder to keep than a commitment to someone else.

Some tips to make this exercise a success:

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© Heirs Tom van Gelder - AntroVista Archief Netwerk