“People do not lack strength, they lack the will,” said Victor Hugo. It is because of this we find physically strong men with a wavering mind and a feeble will, not succeeding in life. While frail men with a challenged body are able to do great things in life. We all possess willpower in some measure. However great souls have been known to exercise it to achieve the impossible while lesser mortals in its absence lead an ignoble existence. We know of men who have been able to do great things in life, not on account of their physical prowess, but because of their firm resolve and willpower. Willpower is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets.
We all know that if we keenly desire to do something, we invariably explore ways of doing it successfully. This is akin to our own personal experience of learning cycling. We did fall and at times even bruised ourselves, but it did not stop us from trying again, nor did it dampen our resolve to learn cycling. Consequently, we mastered the technique. Thus initial failures should not discourage us from pursuing big and ambitious goals, for we know there is no shortcut to success. Our constant perseverance will sooner or later bear fruit, and we will eventually succeed. Initial failure should not deter us from our chosen path for ‘failures are the pillars of success’ and are a stepping stone to glory. Do what is right, not what is easy.
It is in meeting challenges, and facing our adversary that we improve ourselves for, “He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skills”. Our antagonist is our helper. Thus meeting challenges and overcoming them is the essence of life, We would not be privy to such spectacular developments, had our predecessors not overcome challenges posed to them by nature. There is in fact nothing impossible to achieve, and Napoleon rightly said, “The word impossible exists in the dictionary of fools”. It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.
The history of mankind is replete with instances of how ordinary people achieve great things, by dint of their will power. The pioneers of aviation the Wright brothers, had their limbs broken, but they did finally succeed in achieving their dream of flying. The result today is the development of supersonic planes, that take us around the world in a couple of hours. We have also heard of the legendary persistence of Maharana Pratap, to check the expansionist ambitions of Akbar, not on the strength of his small army, but because of his invincible will. We have also seen how Helen Keller despite being deaf and dumb was able to lead a normal life and contribute in social service. These great souls have conclusively proved, that there is nothing impossible to achieve, provided one has the will to go about it, This brings to mind a Chinese proverb that says, “Great souls have will, feeble one’s have only wishes.”
We must therefore not only wish and aspire for something, but also work with a firm resolve for achieving it. For even “God helps those who help themselves”. We therefore do not require physical, or even mental power to achieve our goal. What we do require is a firm will power, for in the words of Goethe, “He who has the firm will mould the world to himself”. Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.