Affection manifests through emotions, passions, motivations, and most of all, through feelings. These latter are defined as a subjective, positive or negative state that is experienced after receiving the impacts that life brings, in other words, after living what happens to each one of us through time. Will power is the capacity of striving and making the effort to reach a previously proposed and anticipated objective. It is up to the individual to construct a life project and be willing to make it a reality even if it takes efforts and sacrifices.
A step towards teaching a child or a teenager about their strength of will power is to teach them to know how to overcome immediate challenges, what is nearest and easiest, in other words, through small achievements. In many occasions, a smaller and immediate sacrifice can lead to the achievement of a definitive good that is farther away. Some individuals do what they want and like at a given moment. However, it is only by saying NO to things that are wanted at a given moment that will power is strengthened; i.e. through small achievements. So, it can be said that real freedom is not doing what someone wants to do at a given moment driven by emotions, but, it is about having the capacity to choose what makes them a better person.
Saint Teresa used to talk about the necessity of having a determined determination to carry out God’s will. Will power is thus determination, firmness in one’s own resolutions and solid encouragement in front of difficulties. We all must keep in mind that life has both joys and sorrows, and quite often we find ourselves in pain, suffering, humiliated and failing. Nevertheless, a human side must be found in all of this, which helps heals an individual from his or her arrogance, and allows him or her to recognize their own personal limits. From a Christian point of view, that pain and suffering can be offered to God by uniting one’s self to Christ’s sufferings on the cross.
Everything big about humans is derived from abnegation, that is, the denial of one’s own self. The dictionary defines abnegation as: voluntarily giving up one’s wishes, passions, affections, and interests. Abnegation is the spontaneous sacrifice of will power, affections, material goods and even life, in order to give service to God or for the good of others. This type of abnegation can be found at the root of small achievements, such as starting once again on that which is being resisted and abstained from in order to aim for greater objectives.
The human of today is often faced with a lot of information and with a bunch of small goods that require his or her attention. This individual is thus troubled and lost by all of this commotion; going to many places without having clear references. This is why it is so important to have a clear personal life project and to strengthen will power through reaching small achievements in order to reach one’s own perfection as well as our aspired goals (Translated by Gianna Sanchez Moretti).