Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sanity of willpower

I am no philosopher or a psychology specialist, but having observed some of the unique minds the world has to offer, has given me some wonderful answers and even more puzzling questions.  One topic on which I keep on pondering lately is the willpower to remain sane. As an interjection, it is perfectly fine to question the very function of sanity here. People would define sanity as the ability to arrive at a sound judgment on right over the wrong. But here again arises the question of what is right & wrong and what code it bases itself on, which would lead to who set the rules & what right does he have to do so and so on & so forth. But cutting the long story short, I feel, sanity is the ability to foresee the impact of one’s action, in order to avoid it when it could lead to disturbance of one’s own peace or and that of others’. In lame words, it is all about being honest about your intentions & while fulfilling it, taking care not to hurt the sensibilities of others. These intentions may be right or wrong, rational or whimsical, but as long as one feels one can deal with any and every impact of the action on self and till one feels it won’t disturb the path of others involved in that action, one can do anything he wants.

While the theory on sanity sounds very convincing, it isn’t easy to apply it in every step of one’s life. When someone hits you, your impulse tells you to beat the shit out of that person without carrying for the aftermath. And when that person gets back the blows, his impulse will only tell him to prolong the fight but not to act maturely & cease the conquest. In these kinds of situations when attacked emotionally, people become educated illiterates. Which is why we see scholars perplex over real time problems while a street smart, well, behaves smart. But these conflict of interests aren’t confined to the external world. Willpower to do the right thing is basically an internal process wherein the battle is for the negative impact of the animal instincts, which doesn’t care for the future, to be subdued as much as possible.

Essentially, for a person to avoid deeper pitfalls it would be better to watch his life from a third person’s point of view & analyze the events. That was how I was able to stand up to bullies & death threats (yes I did face them from real criminals, whether you believe it or not) without running away from the scene or over enthusiastically charging back at them. When you feel your stand is reasonable, a sense of pride enters your heart, pumping ounces of courage to face any kind of danger to the inner peace. At the end of the day you know deep down, by resisting from giving-in, you are clearly in control of your life. Isn’t that what inner peace is all about in a skewed way: you steering your life smoothly in a path you want to be in than be blown away by the torrid wind.

But life doesn’t give it that easy does it? The path one set to sail will surely have alluring detours which would alter the course of our life, if one were to take it. A man at this juncture depends only on his practice of righteousness to choose over the right path for him. What happens if he were to slip away from his alertness & take a wrong turn? What happens if he were to inadvertently do something that he was up against all his life? What will happen is that, his willpower, the sole embodiment of his being, gets shattered into pieces. It would take eons to find those pieces so that he could mend them & rise back to his normal being. A clear mind devoid of internal conflict can only save a person from making such catastrophic mistakes.

To sum up, life is like a roller coaster which will rattle you out of your senses only when you start to believe that things are going smooth. I am not saying being cautious in every step we take will be an answer to every problem in life. But it will surely reduce the size of the problem from a tormenting nightmare which will haunt you for the rest of your life, to one that could be solved before you go to sleep, so that the next day starts afresh.


  1. I can understand with what/whom in mind you wrote this!..anyways i agree that it's all true to an extend. Good writing!

  2. Will power is a funny thing. It is easy to lose it for things that are healthy and difficult to be consistent once lost for these things. Yet for the 'vice' stuff, it is the other way round.

  3. Budding Bhilosopher. Mafia Mama! :)


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