You’ve heard the saying:
“When there’s a will, there’s a way.”
This is true, but let’s drill down a level deeper, shall we?
I’ve heard it put this way:
Willfulness builds a wall; willingness opens a way.
— Someone way smarter than me
Willfulness/self-will is strong, but shortsighted. It narrows our gaze and tightens our shoulders.
With willfulness, we’re impatient with ourselves. We force things. We sleep less and eat worse. We try to stress things into being, which hardly ever works (and when it does, we suffer adverse effects).
Willfulness can be employed to push a car, but it’s not very helpful in more complex life situations.
This is where willingness comes in...
Where willfulness sees ‘a’ way, willingness sees infinite ways.
Willingness leaves room for currently unrecognized insight. It topples tables and ushers in completely new paradigms.
Willingness knows it doesn’t see the full picture. It understands it doesn’t have all the answers.
Willingness allows us to be patient with ourselves. Through willingness, we get ourselves out of the way and make room for something greater than our current vision to emerge.
Willingness comes from receptivity to the unseen. It holds a loose grip on the moment and allows it to expand and deepen — something that’s impossible under the white-knuckled death grip of willfulness.
Willfulness says, “Nope, I got this,” to outside help.
Willingness says, “Hells yes, jump in.”
Willingness clears the way for deeper knowing beyond surface-level thinking. It softens hard places and fosters movement and flexibility.
Feeling rigid in any areas of your life? Could be a strong signal that willfulness has taken over.
Recognize it. Know that your current state of willfulness isn’t getting you where you want to go.
Breathe. Close your eyes and open your palms as a symbolic gesture that you’re loosening the ego’s grip while opening up to willingness.
Then, stay the course, but employ willingness to carry you through.
I think you might astonish yourself.