Sincerity and truth of wanting

Of the three psychological conditions involved in making an effort of will, it is most often this last which is defective, and I believe I am not exaggerating when I say that it is due to a lack of sincerity that most efforts of will fail.

The causes are numerous: first there is paralyzing doubt, the fear of making any kind of effort, which can even be seen as a form of self-imposed suffering for daring to want something. Then we have the class of persons (and there are many) who lie to themselves, some unconsciously, others quite knowingly, but who because of weakness or moral cowardice, eventually expose themselves. Persons who do this unconsciously usually give up after "trying to want" which means that although they think they may want something, they cannot make the decision to actually want it. This can be easily corrected when patients are made aware of their mistake.

Results are more difficult to obtain with the former group; it's very hard to get people to admit that they don't really want what they say they want, since they can easily hide behind all sorts of problems, some of them real, which will prevent them from making an effort of will.

So the first thing to aim for is sincerity - getting these people to be honest with themselves - and then the effort of willpower will achieve the desired results.

However, we must also recognize that, aside from persons who fool themselves more or less consciously, there are those in whom the notion of making an effort of will has been entirely extinguished, especially if they have been ill since childhood. We must understand that during their long years of illness, any attempt to exert an effort of will was nothing more than a futile struggle.

These repeated failures, where trying to exert their willpower was synonymous with fatigue and anxiety, eventually annihilated any vestiges of willpower they might have originally had, to the point where these people cannot even comprehend its existence in other people.

Such people do not know how to want, but always in the sense that they don't know how to use their willpower.

These are the three main factors concerning the emission of willpower. Now let's look at how we can use them to re-educate the faculty in problem cases.

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