1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Is it true that Russians have the strongest will power? August 2, 2012

image by axinia

Again I am  here with the will power topic. Recently I talked to one American friend about handling difficult situations of “mental discussions” – when you keep arguing with someone in your thoughts, and the person has no idea about it. Apparently it is a widely spread phenomenon. When people cannot speak out they prefer to discuss it “within”. This thing can definitely make one mad!

I remember having such an experience only once in my life, some years back – for two moths I could not stop thinking about some conflict situation. Even though I have a long-term mediation experience, this work-related relationship issue was such a torn! I applied all possible yogic techniques, nothing helped. Every free minute when I was not directly busy with something else, I kept giving my arguments to the person I had an issue with. Isn’t it idiotic? At some point I was so fed up with it and really did not know what to do. And then…I decided to apply my WILL POWER : I started stopping this thinking immediately when I noticed it rising up. The next second I would say “stop it now” and indeed, I managed to completely diminish the issue by using my will power only!

When I gave this example to my American friend and ask him why don’t other people use their will power for solving hard problems, he said: “Well you know this is a very Russian thing, Russians have strong intellect and can use it powerfully. The Western people are weaker in that, they would moan and groan about and go to a psychologist/psychotherapists and wait until someone else will bring the relief. I know several Russians who solved their problems like you did but I don’t know any Westerner who would do that”.

Of course my friend’s experience cannot speak for all. I am sure the will power phenomenon exist independently of culture and background. But this is what I ask myself again and again looking and people suffering often funny psychological issues:

Why don’t you just STOP yourself?


LOVE, as ever

your axinia


10 Responses to “Is it true that Russians have the strongest will power?”

  1. This is an interesting question 🙂 The truth is we are helplessly in action, including the application of will ! if we actually are the doer, then we can claim to either apply will power or not apply it. But we need to clearly analyse and find the action, and the doer. This would mean figuring out who we really are ! Then this question of will power will vanish!

    • axinia Says:

      but have you ever thought that it is probably the TRUE SELF that decides to apply the will power? When it is the Ego who is acting than it is not the will power, it is something else – the ego, actually 🙂

  2. Yuriy Says:

    I usually like your posts, but have to disagree with you on this one. We need to be careful here to distinguish between using mindfulness to observe thoughts and emotions as they arise (i.e. a vipassana meditation practice) versus using pure force to repress them. It sounds like you used the former not the latter, but saying the word “will” confuses people to thinking you meant the latter. You do not want to advise people to repress their thoughts and emotions, that only backfires down the road.

    • That’s a beautiful analysis.

      Simply put, there are several channels on the TV, if you don’t like one you can switch channel. Its hard to switch thoughts.. but fighting against them wont work. Also, regarding differences between people, we should really understand who the Real person is. in you, in me, in everyone.. then the animosity/conflict/hurt reduces and eases away eventually.

      Each person is just playing a role, existing to create a texture in this beautiful fabric of reality. The inner most real person is the same! Once this is realized, we can handle events/people that are unpleasant just like we treat the various ingredients in our food..

      There is bitter gourd, there is pepper, there is sugar, there is salt, each by itself can be tasteless.. but in a magically right proportion, its delicious. Its really hard to understand how a bitter ingredient enhances taste… must ask the chef! Also, trying to eat ice-cream all the time will make our tongue numb. 🙂

      So instead of thinking we are the doer, which necessitates a will power, and the conflict of ‘to do or not to do’, give up the ‘do’ership.. then life in one long drama, including your(apparent)self ! and at times you can laugh at that character too! 🙂

    • axinia Says:

      Yuri, you are right, repressing thoughts and emoting never helps. BUt what about working with enlightened attention? IT is not mental then, it is another level of consciousness. It works totally differnt, belive me. or try it out 🙂

  3. Hi axinia,
    everything is possible with will power but for many it is difficult to understand, analyse and use free will power mostly people waste their energy fighting with emotions and thoughts some may enjoy day dreaming spreading attention elsewhere . I believe will power comes through attention .whatever objectives we decide if they are not connected with attention or will power definitely we are going to loose. s enrich will power one must exercise on attention and secondly ” self talk” I don’t know How much u believe in self talk but I am sure those who maintain self talk positively harmonious with bodily action and behavior are likely to win the situation or stimulate ” win win ” phenomenon or loose the battle even before it started. What is meditation ? in another words it is exercise of attention . we are chanalizing the attention in proper direction and maintaining detached state. it definitely require continuous self talk in built up proper attention and free will power use them harmoniously in constructive work.

    • I think, will power is really a Russian feature but it is not connected to special mentality. Nature!

      I think Russians are strong in will power because we have a very cold country. Our grandparents always went in winter in the forest for firewood. Could be a darkest night outside and terrible frost, wolves, bears, etc, but if you not go, you would freeze to death. Russian usual house (izbushka) should not be left without heat! Never!

      The nature itself forces the Russians to do a lot of jobs which Italian, for example, no need to do. Russian must get up his ass out of warm bed early in a morning. To get out of the house (izbushka) in village to make a path, throwing tons of snow in hand regime. Using shovel. Otherwise there will be no way at all. No one than could go to a shop to buy even some food.

      So, climate is one of a reason which pushing us to move and to be strong. But amazing thing: Russians are lazy in quiet day but life and climate urge us to move!)))))

      This is my modest opinion on Axinia subject

      • it is true ..need of survival make man active .. at least to get the food and protect himself.. it is by nature..

      • axinia Says:

        Climate is important, sure Mikhail..but what about Canadians then? They must have same will power then (probably they do but I never heard of that).

        As far as I know from yogic knowledge the reason can be the subtle energy: Russia is on the Agnya chakra of the EArth which means intellect and ego. It means Russians have strong intellect but also a stong ego (hahaha).

    • axinia Says:

      agree with you totally mahesh – I too believe it has to do with attention, an enlightned attention.

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