It is true that in our weaker moments we may feel that we have limitations and that life is only an unending process of abject misery. This negative attitude often plagues us. But when our will-power is well developed we have the courage and conviction to change the direction of such negative impulses. Swamiji told us that in such moments of weakness we should assert our higher self and fight against the evil forces. The constant tug of war between the evil forces of our lower self and the power of our higher self is an exercise in cultivating strength and conviction.
Swamiji once said, "Since death is inevitable, let life go after a noble conquest." We should fight for the conquest of the evil forces which cause despair and despondency, which plague us with negative thoughts. We feel that our limitations hinder us from strengthening our will power. But under such conditions we should keep in mind Swainiji's challenging words, "Have you got the will to surmount the mountain high obstructions? Even if the whole world stands against you, would you still dare to do what is right?"
Before concluding let us recollect that the important point here is shmthlha. There are two fundamental obstacles to the cultivation of will power: exaggerated regret about the past and excessive worrying about the future. We should not worry too much about what the future has in store for us, nor should we regret overmuch the acts we have done in the past. As a poet said,
"Let the dead past bury its dead!
Act, act, in the living present,
Trust no future, however pleasant."
Let us, therefore, act in the living present. The present cannot be properly utilised if we are brooding over the past or anticipating the future with anxiety. To develop will power it is essential that we lead a very alert life, in the living present.
Here we are reminded of a great German mystic, Eckhart who said, "In the heart of this moment is eternity." If you want to enjoy eternal life, if you want to hold communion with the Eternal, then remember that you have to live well and do your best in the present.
Let us avoid living in the past or the future; let us learn to live in the present and make proper use of it. If we can do that, then it will help us immensely to develop will power and bring the right balance into life. In turn this helps overcome all kinds of mental tension. In a word, living in the present is an effective cure for mental troubles.