The Union Path

Harnessing Your Willpower: Crafting a Life of Purpose and Intention

Have you ever felt like you're making choices but not really choosing? Ever wonder how much control you actually wield over the direction of your life? Our latest episode unravels the intricacies of willpower and its pivotal role in shaping our existence.

Unlock the power of your inherent willpower and steer your life with purposeful intention as we unravel the mysteries of manifesting desires into reality. Learn how to synchronize your intuition, emotions, and intellect to guide your choices, ensuring no aspect overpowers another. We tackle the fallacy that will is a scarce attribute, pointing out how it's a constant presence—even when we opt for inaction. By recognizing the elements that shape our will and acknowledging the sometimes hidden motives that keep us anchored in our current circumstances, this episode offers a framework to reshape our actions to mirror our true ambitions.

We confront the delicate balance of intuition, emotion, and intellect in harnessing our will, scrutinizing the repercussions of their imbalance and the subtle forces that influence our desires. We ponder past decisions and their hidden messages about our unfulfilled potential, contemplating the steps to unearth and honor these latent callings. This episode is your guide to rethinking autonomy, understanding the finite nature of will, and aligning your actions with what truly resonates within. Join us on a journey to master the conscious application of will and craft a life rich with intention and purpose.


(00:00) Nature of Willpower and Intention Explorations

This chapter examines the concept of willpower and its intrinsic link to the human capacity for creation through intention. I discuss the universal nature of will, challenging the notion that it is a specialized trait, and suggest that will is present even in perceived laziness, as choosing inaction is also an act of intention. We explore the integration of various aspects of the self—intuition, emotion, and intellect—in directing our will and the potential consequences of allowing one to dominate. By bringing awareness to the influences shaping our will, we can assess whether they align with our desires and effectively employ our will towards fulfilling intentions. Additionally, I touch on the idea that sometimes our will may perpetuate unwanted situations, prompting reflection on the underlying benefits or trade-offs that may be maintaining the status quo.

(14:27) Living a Life of Intent

This chapter explores the importance of living with intention and the thoughtful application of our will. I reflect on the idea that hindsight might suggest different choices in our lives, questioning whether these thoughts are mere fantasies or true callings that need to be pursued. I emphasize the value of exploring these callings gently rather than making rash decisions. We discuss the concept of living on purpose and the notion that every action, including inaction, is a choice driven by our will. I encourage listeners to consider whether they are using their time and energy wisely, in alignment with a purpose that serves them. I suggest that by becoming more intentional about our choices and recognizing the finite nature of our will, we can align our actions with our heart, mind, and intuition to live a more integrated and fulfilling life.

(18:34) Taking Charge of Our Life

This chapter emphasizes the power of personal agency and the ability to use our will to shape our lives. We explore the concept of being our own self-help guru by recognizing our capacity to make choices that align with our desires and goals. I discuss the significance of embracing our freedom, understanding that we are not as constrained as we may perceive, and that we have more control over our life's direction than is often acknowledged. The conversation highlights the importance of integrating our will with our purpose, meaning, and what genuinely contributes to a fulfilling life. We examine the strategy of using our will to create positive outcomes rather than merely avoiding negative ones, and seizing the inherent opportunities of life to direct our energy towards what we truly want.

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What is The Union Path?

Mindful monologues to awaken your consciousness and nourish your soul.

In this introspective podcast, I aim offer you heartfelt rumination to inspire your own growth and self-discovery.

Are you seeking deeper meaning, truth, purpose or peace in your life? Join me as I unfold observations and awareness along the spiritual path - what I have learned, struggled with, found insight into.

Let these moving soliloquies gently prompt self-inquiry as you contemplate the deeper questions we all face: why do you suffer? How can you cultivate more inner calm and wisdom?

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My hope is that by modeling raw exploration rooted in courageously questioning “why?”, these thoughtful meanderings awaken self-understanding and nourish your soul.

Consider these unconventional audio journal entries as a way to inspire and awaken your own internal wise teacher, taking your hand to guide you in looking within your own mysterious inner landscape in a new way. Feel less alone. Find inspiration to expand your self-awareness and consciousness with me each week.

The Union Path Podcast

"Selective Use of Will: Mastering Self-Determination for a Meaningful Existence"

Episode Transcript:

Willpower or just will, is really interesting. It's really interesting to think about, to study, to really take a look at, because it's a very unique feature to the human animal, this idea of will, this idea of willpower. I think it's also interesting to think about the correlation or the tie or the similarity between ideas like will and intention, especially with the other idea, or the belief that all creativity is undergirded, is based on intention, that ultimately this is what makes the human being, the human animal, so special is our ability to create, and at the root of that incredible ability is intent, is will. I think it's also interesting to think about the ways that we think about will, the ways that we talk about will. Is it something special? Is it a specialized trait or a talent or just a practice that someone has developed through their use of will? I think you can kind of hear in there that if will creates will, then is will really all that special? I don't really think it is. I think will is universal. I think we all have will, even if we think about the laziest person we know or the laziest time of our lives that we've had, there's actually quite a bit of will in there that it takes just as much will to choose to do as it does to choose to not do. It's the same idea, it's intention, and if inherent in the human being's ability to create is intent is intention, and inherent in the human being is this ability to create, then we almost have will, we almost have the ability to create intention, to intend to do or to not do. And so I think this is really interesting to think about. And I think that there are layers to this idea of will, because, in one way to think about it, it seems like we're all made up of separate, distinct parts.

When it comes to will, when it comes to what we do and I break it down like this that at the base of ourselves is intention, is the idea of this doing center of ourselves that's influenced by the other centers of ourselves, things like intuition, things like our heart, things like our mind.

And if we look at our life, we can look at what we do, of where our willpower is normally focused. We can also look at what aspect of ourselves influences our will the most. Are we primarily thought, are we primarily heart, are we primarily intuitive, or is it something else altogether that we find influencing our will, this idea of the will takes guidance and direction from different aspects of ourselves, can be seen, is borne out in our life, and with a little bit of awareness, a little bit of self-awareness, we can see what this is. And then we can ask ourselves is that what we really want? Does that really work? And I'd make the argument anyway that when it comes to will, when it comes to this incredible ability that we have to set in tension, the more integrated we are, the better, the more we can listen to all aspects of ourselves, the better, because, for example, let's say, we've been largely letting our intuitive, intuitive senses, our feeling sense, take the will and we've applied that to our will.

We've applied will to that with what we do. I think we can find that a lot of times our action is a little clumsy, is a little ill-timed, just isn't quite right, is just not as precise as we'd like. Well, in that case, we might do ourselves a favor by integrating more of our mind, more of aspects of nuance, discernment, timing when it comes to intuitive, when it comes to our feeling sense, in a lot of ways it's kind of a blunt force tool that it doesn't normally come with a whole lot of clarity to it, it doesn't come with a whole lot of refinement to it.

It's pretty basic, it's pretty unrefined. Even if our intuitive sense is correct, it may not actually be the ideal timing to immediately do something about it, or it may need to apply a little bit of a little bit of tact, a little bit of discernment, to use that intuitive sense the best way we can to apply our will, to apply our action, our doing in service of this intuitive knowing that we have. We can use other aspects of ourselves to do that, to inform that. Or conversely, let's say we kind of walk around and we're basically all mind. Everything is logic, everything is rational, everything is thought out to the nth degree. We've considered everything and we've drawn very stark, rigid conclusions about what we should and shouldn't do. Well, how does that work out for us? Do we find ourselves getting stuck in routines? Do we find that we go into a situation and we're often confused that we're doing what we're supposed to be doing, but no one else seems to be playing along? No one else seems to be doing their part. Well, why is that? Are we ignoring other information? Are we ignoring a feeling, sense that intuitively, this isn't really the right thing to be doing, or a message from our heart of like this doesn't really make a lot of sense from a relational perspective? There's not a lot of want behind what we're doing. We're just kind of all rigid routine, forcing our way through our life into situations, just doing whatever we do because that's whatever we do.

I think also this idea of will really looking at our own will, it's really interesting when we start asking ourselves in what direction are we applying our will? Are we applying our will towards things we want? Are we actually using our will to continue doing things we don't want? We're kind of using our will as a way to undermine ourselves, to do something other than what we'd like, to do less than what we'd like, to maintain a status quo that we actually don't really want to be a part of. And if this is the case, we can dig a little bit deeper and ask ourselves well, are there perhaps second or third order effects that are being served here, like perhaps I'm not doing exactly what I want to do, but there are other benefits from doing that Perhaps I don't want to go to this job every day, but being unemployed would be worse. So here I am.

But there's an idea about agency. There's an idea about freedom that is powerful when thought of in terms of will, like I'd make the argument that the default state of the human being is freedom, that take everything away or boil it all down. What do we all really want more than anything else? Freedom. Conversely, what can make us agitated or upset faster than almost anything else will take away our freedom, can plant the seed that our freedom will be or is taken away in some way that we weren't even aware of.

I think this is how a lot of cable news works, a lot of clickbait works, that it taps into this idea, this instant outrage that can be generated if we can just convince someone that they're less free than they thought or that loss of freedom is right on the horizon, that someone or something is coming that's going to take your freedom away.

I think there's something useful to know in this reaction, in the strength of this reaction, everything else being equal. If we notice ourselves having strong reactions to things as human beings, then it must mean those things are important on some level. This is a fairly universal thing that transcends biases, that transcends just people's opinions. There's just something inherent to being human that must make that important. I think this is also why quote unquote self-help gurus or motivational speakers can be so powerful, because they can return a sense of freedom. They can remind people that they have more agency than they think, and that can be very motivating. They can return a sense of freedom to people, which in and of itself is energizing. That's a good thing. We're all more free than we think we are, and being reminded of that on the whole is a good thing.

Being reminded of the truth is useful, is helpful, and so one of the areas where we can really spot that our will is out of alignment with the rest of ourselves is through feeling what our behavior, what our action feels like. For me, anyway, the most palpable thing when my will is out of alignment with the rest of myself is a sense of grinding, is a sense of pushing. It's a gut feeling, this pushing, and I've become really good at it. There's a lot of aspects of our culture that will really celebrate pushing, forcing, making things happen, triumphs of will. But again, I think this is a limited definition of will and I don't think pushing or applying our will forcefully in any given direction is necessarily a bad thing. But I do think that it's wildly different when we're applying our will towards what we want rather than towards what we don't want, when we're applying our will to create a new and better future rather than applying our will to maintain and sustain a present that we don't really want.

Again, perhaps that present we don't really want is something that we want. Perhaps there's something in there that is wanted, perhaps there's a greater good that's being served, which even knowing that is freeing in and of itself, makes going to that job we hate a little easier if we know that at least there's food on the table, there's heat in the house, that tuition payment gets paid, life is made better or easier or more full for the people we care about. That matters. But it's also true that things would feel a whole lot better if we were achieving those ends in a way that we didn't have to grind so hard, we didn't have to push so hard, we didn't have so much conflict internally felt, internally experienced with our daily life. Perhaps this conflict is urging us to look around, to think a little bigger, try something different.

That it's not necessarily a binary where we have to blow up our entire life just to change a certain circumstance. Maybe we can entertain other ideas because, especially when they're just ideas, they're not really that threatening, they're not really that risky. These are just thoughts. But so many of us can be so determined to do whatever it is we're doing, we don't even entertain the thought of doing something else or reject it immediately because somehow it feels unhelpful. Somehow it feels that the only thing we have going for us, the only thing bringing us back and helping us get through whatever we're doing, is momentum. It's just putting our head down and pushing forward that there's something about entertaining other ideas that seems to undermine that head down, pushing From an analogy perspective that's true because if, our heads down, we're not really looking around, not really taking in all of the options that we actually have.

But this is us confining us, this is us creating captivity in our own life if we're not actually looking around, if we're not actually looking at all available options to us and then choosing the best one, trusting ourselves that we're not going to undermine ourselves or the people we care about because we entertain our options. That's the trick our minds can play on us To keep us in captivity, to keep us captured, often by ourselves. But again, all things being equal, freedom is better, freedom is what we want, freedom is what we crave, and it could very well be that part of this conflict that we feel within us with whatever we do on a daily basis can be the part of us that yearns to be free, asking for our attention, asking for some of that will, wanting us to point at least a little bit of our effort, a little bit of our attention, a little bit of our focus towards achieving and living more freedom than we currently are, because it can be so easy in life to be swept away by momentum. There's so many aspects of our lives that are so load-bearing that it can make any kind of change seem impossible.

We can kind of live a bit of a sunk cost fallacy that I'm already so deep into. Whatever I'm doing I can't possibly change. But is that true? Is that what you want? If you look at your life and you think to yourself, you know 20 years ago, 30 years ago, if I knew what I knew now, I would do something completely different. I would renovate this whole thing. I would have done that. I would have never have done this.

Okay, that seems to be pretty useful information. So what are you doing with it? First off, are you exploring those ideas to see if they might even be true? Are those just kind of wistful longings where the grass is greener somewhere else, or is this actually a calling within you? Are these actually unmet needs within you? Well, the only way you'll know is to explore it, but you can explore it softly. We don't have to jump from thing to thing to thing. One thing my kids kind of get a little tired of me saying is that rash decisions lead to rash decisions. Skipping back to the whole idea of.

Makes human beings so special is this ability to create intention. It's to live on purpose, and our lives just seem to go a whole lot better when we do precisely that, when we do things on purpose, with intention, when we're living this scattershot, random life where we're just jumping from shiny thing to shiny thing or to avoid scary thing or other scary thing, when we're actually doing things on purpose, we're actually living a life of intention. And so, in my opinion, a good life, a full life, is lived through and with and via the selective application of will, of knowing that we all have will. We're using it every day. We use it just as equally when we do something as when we don't do something, when we choose to do this or choose to not do. That that's all will. That's all our ability to focus our creative energy to a specific behavior, a specific action, because even inaction is action, even choosing not to do something is a choice, and thus we all select how we use our will, what we point our lives towards, what we do our action in service of. We all choose this. We're choosing it right now. We can't help it. This is the way life works.

Our life energy is focused and directed through our will, and we choose what we focus it on and how we direct it. And we can liberate ourselves significantly the more intentional we get about our own use of will, and we can choose to seize our own freedom. We can choose to seize our own agency. Just by knowing this fact that we're the ones who choose how we use our will, we can also liberate ourselves significantly, realizing that will is not infinite. There's only so many hours in a day. There's only so much energy we possess, and are we using that time and that energy wisely? Are we using our life well? Are we spending our time and effort and energy intelligently? Does it make sense? Are we doing it on purpose? Do we have?

a purpose. When we look at our life, do we have a good answer to the question of what is all this in service of? What is all this for, really? And if we think about our use of will, if we notice ourselves grinding or pushing, how could we bring ourselves more in alignment? How could we be more integrated? How could we bring in our mind our heart, our intuitive feelings? How could we have all aspects of ourselves pointed the same way, part of the same team going after and aiming to achieve the same ends?

And we can choose to be our own motivational speaker. We can choose to be our own self-help guru by realizing that we're the ones in charge of our own will. We're the ones who choose to do this or that. We're the ones who choose to do, and we're the ones who choose to not do. And we have far more freedom than we think we do. We're far less oppressed than we think we are. We have way more say in our life than others would perhaps lead us to believe, and we can choose to seize our freedom.

We can choose to claim our freedom by seizing and claiming our will, by using it toward what we want Instead of using it to try to repel what we don't. Move forward in life with our will integrated with our purpose, with our will integrated with meaning, with our will integrated with what really matters to us, what really makes our life good, what really makes us feel good, what a good life is to us, completely, holistically. Use our will to creating more of the positive rather than just avoiding or sustaining the negative, seizing the opportunity that each and every one of us has, just because we're alive, to focus and direct life energy in whatever direction we wish Would literally do whatever we want. To apply our will to what actually matters, to stand up for ourselves, to stand up in our own lives and be intentional, be purposeful, be active in our own life, direct ourselves towards what we actually want, live a life on purpose, live a life with purpose through the integration and utilization of our own will.