“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to do things.”
Leonardo da Vinci
Success & Fame—all of us wish for these milestones in our lives, but at times we do not succeed in fulfilling these wishes. And then we tend to curse our fate. It is very easy to blame others rather than take a stand and admit Mea Culpa. It may provide us a temporary reprieve, a short term distraction from the ugly truth but it does not change the fact that we have only ourselves to blame for our failures. It is not enough that we wish to achieve something. We should have the proper will, the zeal to carry forth our plans. Every body wants to be successful in his or her life. But while dreaming about “success” one should not forget the battle, which is necessary for the victory. In this case, Calvin Coolidge aptly said, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Struggle On!’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
Proverbs like ‘Where there is will, there is a way’ are often used and experienced in our daily lives, when someone truly desires something from the bottom of his heart he tries to reach it with all his effort and willpower. Nothing is impossible once you try hard. If the willpower is strong enough anything can be achieved. There is nothing impossible in this world; it is only lack of determination that brings forth failures. Performing wonders and miracles become one step easier for the “thick skinned” and the “iron-willed”. The power of human will is extraordinary. At first sight many tasks may appear impossible to accomplish and many people are repelled easily. Only a few have the courage, the necessary strength of will to pursue their goals; only they know what it is to struggle towards their ideal.
Our willpower can be reflected through moments in our daily life; for instance getting up early in the morning, studying for a specified period of time, exercising for a couple of hours, maintaining punctuality, addressing correspondences promptly and many more. Most of us are often tempted to postpone too many things and the result is that time has already evaded us and we have to repent a lot.
Impatience is one of man’s vices. We are familiar with the story of King Bruce and the Spider but unlike Bruce, we sorely lack the patience to wait for final results. Quick, if not immediate result, is what we crave. Beverly Sills aptly quoted “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going”. There are no shortcuts to success and sooner we realise this, the better it is for us. Great achievements in various fields have been possible because of people who did not mind initial failures. The pioneers Icarus and his father who wanted to fly got their limbs broken in their first
futile attempts to fly; Their will power did not prevent them from trying again. The result is that today we have aircrafts which can take us from one continent to another in a matter of hours. Many of us know how to swim or to ride a bicycle. When we took the first plunge, we disliked the feel of the ice cold water; the first fall from the bicycle may have caused bruises. Our will did not deter us from trying again. Probably we failed the second or third time too; but very soon we mastered the technique and today we do not have any regrets for persisting in our attempts.
A cursory study of the history of human civilization tells us that all great things have always been achieved by men who displayed sheer force of will. Joss Whedon aptly said, “The thing about a great person, is even when it doesn’t look like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, he’s going to keep digging, he’s going to keep trying to do right and make up for what’s gone before, just not because that’s who he is, but by immense will.”
We are often inspired by the examples of those who have become successful. Kiran Bedi, the first lady IPS officer, struggled hard and became successful; Sachin Tendulkar has achieved fame worldwide; Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a simple person became the Prime Minister of India; late President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam achieved the highest pinnacle, all because of their sheer will power. P.T. Usha has also proved that age can no longer be an obstacle on the road to success. Would it be possible for them to become great without the backing of strong willpower?
Citing the Mahabharata where Eklavya managed to complete his Dhanurvidya by practising in front of the statue of Guru Dronacharya when the latter refused to teach him. But by sheer willpower he learnt the art of archery even if it was inspired from the master’s statue. Let it be our life’s lesson by remembering that God helps those who help themselves.
Do not blame fate; for only those who struggle, become successful. Fate is only one of the role players in our lives. Willpower is important to conquer fate. Nothing is impossible if we try. With the help of willpower one can achieve anything. A small sparrow creates a beautiful nest with the help of her willpower. It is an art, which comes from her will to protect her offsprings. Willpower gives us courage and energy to win. We should always remember that fortune favours the brave. In her book I Dare Kiran Bedi says, “People who do not carry out the responsibilities of their lives are lathi-charged by the time. Success is not cheap. To dream is your right, to struggle is your duty. Willpower is your need to achieve the sky and to fly”. Emily Dickinson said that success is counted sweetest by those who never
succeed. Only dreaming of success will not do. It is not something which can be derived by spending money but by willingness to work hard and by making sacrifices, which comes from within our heart and soul.
So, struggle hard and be successful, nothing is impossible if our will is strong. We can achieve everything. After all where there is a will there is a way. We must not be afraid of failure.
Swami Vivekananda once said, “Be not afraid of anything. You will do marvellous work. It is fearlessness that brings heaven even in a moment. All power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Believe in that, do not believe that you are weak; do not believe that you are half-crazy lunatics, as most of us do nowadays.
You can do anything and everything, without even the guidance of any one. Stand up and express the divinity within you.”
Columbus could discover America only because he stood firm against all the storms that threatened him. Nothing could deter him from the path that he had chosen for himself. Monsieur and Madame Curie could discover Radium—a great boon to humanity—only because they were persons of firm will; prepared to lay down their lives in the pursuit of their ideals.
Impossible is a word to be found in the dictionary of fools—is what Napoleon the Great has said. Great conquerors, like Napoleon and Hitler, were all men of determination whose willpower was a force to be reckoned with. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, for whom not even the danger of high altitude could weaken their resolve, reached the top of the Mt. Everest. Urged by immense will-force, Gandhiji demonstrated that it is the will that counts and not the physical might. It would do us good to remember this whenever we feel like giving up.
The story of man’s evolution from chaos to order, from barbarism to civilization, is nothing but a story of his willpower pitted against the hostile forces of nature. While men of will can have their way in all things, those of weak will can do nothing. Like a reed the wind blows them in different directions. They are distracted from their aim by every obstacle that comes in their way. All of us possess the willpower. Only some of us use it. Those who do not use it always have to rely on various alibi. There is nothing wrong with them except that they lack the purpose and perseverance. Vince Lombardi once said, “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.” This is what we should always avoid.
Will is a great force for doing good and evil. It strives to make impossible things possible. It is our moral duty to see that willpower is applied only in doing good deeds. This force opens immense possibilities for us, and hence should be cultivated systematically all through life. In the first instance, the objectives we place before us should not be complex and we should make every effort to focus on it and not be deflected from our path. Then we should aim on higher objectives. It is not enough to have an ambition; but to strive towards it unmindful of the inevitable failures on its way.
We should be like a bird and let no net ensnare us, we should be a free human being with an independent will because …Where there is a will, there is a way.