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The Battle of the Generation - Day 80

Our weekly excerpt from the book "The Battle of the Generation"

There is another lesson to take from this story. When Rav Amram broke through and regained control, he didn’t just go down the ladder or even just leave his house. Rather, he did something that ended his test, even though it brought him great embarrassment. Why? Why didn’t he just leave?

The answer is that Rav Amram realized that a real part of him desperately wanted to sin. He had been overwhelmed and barely managed to break free. He knew this sudden resurgence of determination would not last long. The desires raged within him, and it was only a matter of time before his willpower would crack. If the situation was not over by then, no matter how far away he would be, he would just return and sin. Realizing he would only win if his test concluded right away, Rav Amram did what it took to end it.

This is a hard lesson to put into practice. When part of us wants to give in and we are barely hanging on with our fading willpower, we don’t want to end the test. We don’t want to give up our “great opportunity” to get what we desire, because we want it. At that point, we want to fulfill the desire; we don’t want it to go away. We surely don’t want to create a situation where we will long to give in but be unable to, and certainly don’t want to embarrass ourselves or sacrifice something important to make it end. To pull this off, we must go against our nature. We will have to get past this discomfort — whether it is evident or subconscious — to make the right choice. It definitely isn’t easy.

Sometimes, we can even stop an entire series of challenges with just one action. One such example is Internet-related challenges. As long as we haven’t been sucked in too far, we can permanently end the challenge by eliminating our ability to give in. And even if we have stumbled and awakened our desires, and they won’t completely go away just by removing what tempts us, we still benefit greatly. We lose a major trigger for our desires as well as much of our ability to give in.

If we can muster the strength to end such challenges despite the overwhelming difficulty, the payoff is enormous. We will be rewarded for having won every battle we avoided. Removing our ability to succumb is a phenomenal achievement.

This method can help you win the most difficult challenges. First, figure out what your weak spot is. Then, determine whether there is a way to avoid the trigger or to eliminate your ability to sin. It is so hard, but gather your strength and do what needs to be done. You will bask in your incredible accomplishment forever.

We must realize that whenever we need to use willpower to stop ourselves, we can only hold on for so long. As the battle goes on, we weaken and our desires increase. We can hang on for a while — longer than we think — but it is a matter of time until we are overpowered. We will only win if the situation ends or our desires calm down. But we avoid all this when we remove our ability to sin.

Ending the challenge guarantees success. It is the only way to ensure that we won’t eventually succumb. Therefore, if it is possible, it must be done! We might regret it right after, as our desires desperately lash out, but it will be too late — we will no longer be able to sin. Eventually, our desires will calm down and we will realize what we just accomplished. We will be so proud of what we pulled off in the face of great difficulty, and we will see that we didn’t miss out on anything.

To attain self-control, we need both desire to win and strong willpower. Using both in tandem will help us reach unfathomable heights in the battle of the generation.

Quick Recap:

  • Although our primary motivator is our desire to succeed and reach greatness, we also need willpower to ensure victory.
  • When we lose control and still hang on, that is the greatest accomplishment.

User Comments:

In other words " Yagati U'Mazati tamin" hard work accomplishes wonders!