…Knowledge is the first step towards freedom. If freedom is the goal, one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves is, “What forces exist that keep us from being as free as we can be?” The answer to this question falls into one of two categories: internal and external forces. Internal forces are your fears, desires, pride, envy, ego, attitudes, etc. External forces would be the people, (friends, family, associates, government, strangers…) or circumstances in your life.
All internal forces related to emotion or thought are connected to the mind, the most powerful tool at your disposal. Like any tool, it must be used to serve its purpose. When used to the height of its abilities, it becomes sharp as a razor. It’s only when the mind is strong that it can be used to control emotion and will, and thus achieve its goals with any kind of consistency. When it is weak, it only tends to create turmoil. Before a person can even dream of freedom, they must have a strong mind and an iron will. In fact, these must be indomitable. You must have a clear vision of yourself and the people and world around you—not as you want them to be, but as they are.
— Excerpted from The Truth as I See It: A Collection of Spiritual Writings by Adam Soto (p. 16-17)