Many of us are familiar with the saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” No one is really sure on where this phrase originated, but we know that it has been in use from at least the 1600’s. It’s a common phrase denoting that if one wants something bad enough, they are going to overcome anything, and if need be, anyone, to get it.
Now I believe this. I really do. But I have found in both my experience, and the experience of others, that the will begins strong and then weakens over time. And I have often wondered “How? How does one go from having a fire of desire to do something, whatever it may be, to having dwindling patches of embers?” The goal didn’t change. The dream didn’t go away. So how did it happen?
Some may say, “They just got lazy.” Others may say, “They finally realized that the goal/dream was unattainable.” But I believe that there is something more. I believe that it was not a loss of will really, it was simply a loss of “why.”
Let me explain. Whatever we do, we do so with a motive. Whether the motive is relaxation, entertainment, or on deeper levels, fulfillment, sense of accomplishment, or wanting to belong, there is always a motive. We are emotional beings. Many of us act as we feel. It’s part of being human.
And so, the question becomes, “How can I keep this desire strong enough to keep me working to achieve my dream?” We can have all the methods in the world. We can have the most fabulous and accomplished coaches in the world. We may have read all the books, visited all the blogs, watched all the YouTube “How to” videos. But when it comes down to it, this is not what builds desire. It is finding our why.
When we find our “why,” we find our motivation. When we build our “why,” we build our motivation. And if someone’s “why” is weak, their will is weak. So our job is to find goals with strong “whys” behind them, and then to build that “why” every day of our lives.
Let me give you an example. I want to become the best person I can, and I want to do it because I believe that Jesus Christ wants us to be like Him someday. But unfortunately, I haven’t seen Jesus, nor have I had the chance to walk with Him as He walked the earth. And so in order to learn about Him, I need to read His words in the scriptures: I have a goal to study them for a minimum of one hour each day, paying special attention to how He instructs me to live.
To some, this may seem extreme, unnecessary even. But this is my goal that I feel I must keep in order to achieve my long-term goal of learning how He lives and through His help, becoming as He is. As you can imagine, some days, this goal feels very hard, demanding a lot of my time, and doing so for so long can seem daunting. And so sometimes my will is strong than others. But because of a well-established “why,” my will is there. And as I study His words, my “why” increases, thereby increasing my will as I am studying.
So for those of you who feel like you’re taking 1 step forward and 2 steps back on your goals, take a minute or two and find your “why.” Ask yourself, “Is it long-term enough? Is it meaningful enough? What do I need to strengthen my ‘why’?” Because when we figure this out, we will have the fortitude to do whatever is necessary to achieve our dreams.