The way to will-power- PDF by Henry Hazlitt

The way to will-power

The way to will-power
The way to will-power- by Henry Hazlitt

You have seen the advertisements. The lion and the man are facing each other; the man upstanding, hands clenched, his look defiant and terrible; the lion crouching. Who will win? The man, without a doubt. He has what the beast lacks, Will-Power. And at the bottom of the page is the triangular clipping which you cut out and send for the book on how to acquire it. Or perhaps the advertisement promises you a $10,000 a year position. Nothing less than $10,000 a year seems capable of attracting the present-day reader of twenty-cent magazines. And those positions, one learns, are reserved for the men of Will- Power (not forgetting the capitals). The advertisements betray bizarre ideas about the will and will-power. Anyone who has the remotest notion of psychology might be led by them to suspect the advertised course. But the advertisements reflect not alone the advertiser's ideas, but the ideas of the plain man. 

They are written to catch the plain man's eye, and they do catch his eye, else how account for their persistence, their enlargement, and their multiplication, notwithstanding the notorious expensiveness of advertising? Now I am about to reveal a profound secret about the will. The revelation will cause a good deal of shock and disappointment and bedlam of protest. However, I derive courage to meet the protest because I have an imposing body of psychological opinion behind me. I have behind me most of the reputable psychologic opinions since Herbert Spencer. And so here it is: The will does not exist. I repeat it, lest you fancy there has been a misprint. 

There is no such thing as the will. Nor such a thing as willpower. These are merely con- venient words. Now when a man denies the existence of the will he is on dangerous ground. It is as if he were to deny the existence of the tomato. Yet I do deny that the will exists, in anything like the same sense that the tomato exists. The tomato is a definite entity. You can pick it up, handle it, feel it, or throw it at the person who denies its existence. And this evidence of reality may convince him. But I am not so crude nor so fatuous as to deny the existence of the will simply because you cannot feel it on taste it. I do not deny it simply because it is not material and tangible. I deny it because it is not even spiritual. The plain man's conception of the will is utterly and grotesquely wrong, and he must be shaken from it violently

. The popular conception seems to be that the Creator, having decided that a man might want to have a brain to use upon occasion, bethought Himself about the ingredients, and dropped in first memory, then imagination, then a will, and then power to reason. Though popular conception is vague on the details, it is probable that the last was a small parcel, wrapped in prejudices to protect it from strain. But the Creator could have left out the will, and no one would have been the wiser. Proof of it is that so few of us were. It was only recently that psychologists began to suspect its absence.


I A Revelation i
II The Intellect as a Valet 5
III The Price One Pays 15
IV Old Bottles for the New Wine .... 20
V Resolutions Made and Resolutions
Kept 32
VI Success and the Capital S ...... 41
VII The Scale of Values ....... 46
VIII Controlling One's Thoughts 55
IX The Omnipresence of Habit 63
X The Alteration of Habit 74
XI Will and the Psychoanalysts .... 84
XII Concentration 109
Xl lA Program of Work 120
XIV The Daily Challenge ....... 127
XV Second and Third Winds 136
XVI Moral Courage. 153

the book details :
  • Author: Henry Hazlitt
  • Publication date1922
  • Company: New York, E.P. Dutton & company

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