Once we’ve identified our purpose, we need to focus on training the mind for personal power. We’ll need personal power to live out our purpose, otherwise it will remain just a dream. We align our thoughts to our purpose, because if we don’t take charge of programming our mind, it will be programmed for us. We’ll be at the mercy of outside distractions – events, circumstances and other’s opinions.

Having said that, though, nothing external can irritate us as much as our own mind. It may seem like others and circumstances are bothering us, but we are actually bothered by our own mental commentary on them. Often, our worst enemy lives between our own two ears.

In the untrained state, the mind is weak and inflexible. When the boundaries of its comfort zone are challenged, it reacts by becoming more rigid. It leads the emotions up and down according to the thoughts that march through or it gets snagged on one particular thought and can’t move on. The trained mind, on the other hand, is extensively aware and capable of swift pliability. Every problem is dissolved as it arises, since its challenge is immediately understood.

It is possible to train the mind to such a degree that it contains only the thoughts we want there. This fact has 4 great spinoffs for us:

1.     Inner stability. There is immense power in knowing that we are not our minds. Our thoughts are not who we are.

2.     Free will:  We can screen our thoughts to make sure they serve us. Either our mind is our master, its contents controlling us, or we master it. If our mind takes us places, we don’t want to go, we need not follow. We need not pay attention to its reactive commentary and convolutions, just to have to plough our way out again through reasoning with it. We can simply decide to stop, silence our mind and return to awareness.

3.     More energy: Following the mind’s meanderings is draining. Mind mastery frees up energy to face the unknown with: to re-enter the flow of the moment. Then we take least effort – most impact action instead of engaging in energy-draining hamster wheel activity.

4.     Well-being: Life becomes simple when the mind is properly harnessed. My degree of feel-good is directly related to the extent to which my thoughts are unscattered. When I let my mind run loose, it creates profuse mental scenarios accompanied by the obligatory emotional roller-coaster.           

I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind; some from ahead and some from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat; I’m all ready you see: Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!  – Dr Seuss


Personal Power


If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs.  – Dhirubhai Ambani

We need to streamline our lives around our purpose. This will require building on our personal power. To understand what this means, lets look into Shamanic literature, at the path of the American Indian warrior sage.

The life of a warrior must be contained. We cannot afford to waste our personal power living a life which is helter-skelter. Warriors take strategic inventories. They list everything they do. Then they decide which of those things can be changed to save energy.  – Don Juan

There is no order to the average man’s thought patterns, nor any voluntary control of his thoughts. Instead, his mind content is a chaotic mess – mostly the result of external stimuli. Likewise, there is no order to the average man’s emotional responses to the world around him. Uncontrolled and often unrelated emotions arise spontaneously, and he simply reacts to these as well as to his fragmented mind in a helter-skelter fashion. If we live in this way, it is impossible to save personal power. We end up feeling dull and drained by life. – Théun Mares

We need to be energy-economical, choosing wisely what we engage with, what we invest our mental-emotional energy in. I often marvel at plants bursting into leaf in spring before the rains come. Out of energy stored over the winter months comes abundance. There is splendour amidst aridness from inner resources wisely managed. Weneed to always have some energy in reserve to apply when it counts.

Once we have saved some personal power, we stand in it. This means deeply knowing and fully accepting ourselves and what is.

The average man’s overriding emotion is survival. The warrior sage, because he is detached from concerns about his death, is also not concerned about the future. He feels his energy powerfully. He knows that when the time comes, his energy will create the same strong circumstances it does today. Warrior sages are settled in the present. – Don Juan

We stand in our power by staying fully in the moment and engaging with each new one as it comes. We don’t step outside of ourselves nor run ahead or lag behind of ourselves.




Don Juan speaks of an attitude of sobriety as crucial for cultivating personal power. Sobriety is doing our best in each moment, in whatever we’re engaged in, unattached to outcome. All is challenge and we best meet it withunbending intent, single-minded focus and incisive action. This helps us live a life of impeccability. In our day-to-day, we have time only for impeccability, which replenishes our power. Everything else drains it. Impeccability is not to be confused with high levels of morality. It is simply the proper use of energy. Our lives as warriors must be strong, truthful and deliberate. Our control has to be impeccable. The character of sobriety and impeccability is one of internal strength, equanimity, being at ease and a profound bent for examination and understanding.

Impeccability is the beginning of greater shifts and starts with a single act: deliberate, precise and sustained. If repeated long enough, we acquire a sense of unbending intent that can then be applied to anything else. Once that is accomplished, the road is clear. One thing will lead to another until we realize our full potential. – Don Juan


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