Power, Will Power, and The Science of Behavior Change

Behavioral Modification / Clinical Skills

Power, Will Power, and The Science of Behavior Change

The word, “power,” derives from the Latin word, “posse,” which means “be able,” which in turn relates to the Anglo-Norman French words, “poeir,” and “pouer,” which mean “ability,” “ability to act or do,” “strength,” “control,” “mastery,” “dominion,” or “authority.”[1]

Regardless of the context, the word “power,” has the same connotation and the same meaning. Yet, context is decisive, and to find such a decisive or decisional context [2], a vital question is to be posed and it is, Power over what or whom? This is the ultimate question in the understanding of power. This is the ultimate question is harnessing power. And this is the ultimate question in making the best use of power.

Why is that? To answer this last question, we first ought to answer the fundamental question of, power over what or over whom?. To do so, let us start with an antithetical angle: What is power not over?

Power is not over:

  1. The world
  2. Nature
  3. Process
  4. People
  5. The past
  6. Thoughts
  7. Emotions
  8. Perception
  9. Body sensation
  10. Circumstances

Let us elaborate on the first two, for now. In subsequent articles, we will be elaborating on the remaining 8. Once we do so, we will then answer the ultimate question of “Power over what or over whom?”

Power is NOT over the world. This is so because of the following:

We are the world. There is no world without us. Everything we observe in and about the world is merely a reflection of us, and our inner self that is mirrored in the outside. There is no world but us, and by us, we mean, us, individually.

Power is NOT over nature. This is so because of the following:

We are not here to defy nature. Rather, we are here to enjoy it. We enjoy it by having fun. As we are having fun, we are actively participating, and we do so through our thoughts. Through our thoughts, we perceive, and we do so through and based on our level of Consciousness at that moment. As we think, we use one of our highest cognitive functions, known as imagination[3], to then both perceive and generate variance. The generation of variance stimulates an aspiration, which may take an infinite number of forms. With that generated aspiration, we then choose whether to express it or not. Expressing it is a process. It is a process not bound in time, or space, but one that is controlled by nature itself, not by us. In the process of expressing our aspiration, we may choose to give up and focus on a different one; or we may choose to carry on until everyone observes the outcome of our aspiration. Examples of outcomes related to aspirations that were generated from enjoying nature include; airplanes, ships, space exploration, electricity, radio, GPS, the internet, and the telephone, to name a few.

Enjoying nature, by having fun, leading to thought generation, variance, aspiration, expression, and outcomes, ultimately results in the expansion of nature, and not the control thereof. Our power, therefore, is Not over nature.”

Here you go. “Power” does not mean “power over the world,” or “power over nature.” As stated above, we will continue this series and elaborate on what else power is not. We will then explain what power is over, and how to fully harness such a power.

Meanwhile, here are some inquiries for you:

  1. What is it like to know your power does not mean “power over the world,” or “power over nature”?
  2. What is it like for you to know that you are here to enjoy nature, have fun with it, and not control it?
  3. What aspirations have been generated from your enjoyment or experiencing nature? What have you been doing with these aspirations? And where would you say you are in the process of expressing them?

We would love to hear from you. We will see you again in our subsequent articles in this series. This series is related to our series of articles on Behavioral Modification. Because behavior change requires power, a full understanding of power is the cornerstone in the science of behavior. We hope you’ll take full advantage of this learning. At SWEET, we are fully dedicated to being for our fellow clinicians, what all clinicians wish were available for their professional and personal development. We will not stop until all clinicians have what they truly need to express their aspirations, and help cease suffering worldwide. We are glad you have joined this movement. We welcome you and we will see you soon.

With love,
Karen and Mardoche

P.S. Feel free to join us for our next online workshop on Purpose, Behaviors, and Habits, scheduled for 3/15, 7-9pmEST. We look forward to welcoming you.

[1] “Power.” Wiktionary, en.wiktionary.org/wiki/power.

[2] Porcelli, Michael. “The Power of Context.” Medium, Authentic Relating, 11 May 2019, medium.com/authenticrelating/the-power-of-context-b348942df4bb.

[3] Dow, James M. “Consciousness as Higher Order Imagination.” Jamesmdow.com, 21 Feb. 2019, jamesmdow.com/blog/2019/02/21/consciousness-as-higher-order-imagination/.