Will. Kind of a funny word. As a verb, it has us leaning into the future, getting to all the things we hope to do. I will… with no expiration date. As a noun, it holds two meanings. One is the document stating how we want our resources passed on when we are gone. And, then there is the will to survive, to succeed – invoking an internal power that allows us to do something far greater than we thought possible.
If you haven’t watched the original Rocky (or seen his run in this 2-minute video), it might be a great holiday evening activity (the movie’s on Netflix). Or perhaps watch the 9th inning of the 7th game during the 2003 pennant race between the Red Sox and the Yankees. Talk about WILL.
Will can be the stuff made of courage, heroism and human spirit. Rudyard Kipling’s lines from his poem IF best summarize this idea:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
There’s a lot of talk these days about grit, resilience and perseverance, which are all powerful and necessary traits for staying in the game and achieving our dreams. But they all are focused more on the finite container of our being.
Will includes that but somehow goes beyond. It’s not grit or persistence that allows someone to lift a car off of someone else or cut off your arm to walk out of being trapped in a canyon. It’s will – will invokes a primal desire to live and to love.
When that deep, unconditional feeling gets included in the equation, the power within ourselves grows beyond anything we could imagine. Our ego, fears of failure and unworthiness fall back in the rear view mirror. They just don’t matter so much anymore. The deeper connected love of the journey, of life, of others, of our hopes and values supersedes our smaller self. It’s just not so much about us anymore as it is about life and giving all we have to the moment.
We all have dreams that can easily get dashed by our fears. At least, I sure do. But when I breathe in my Will something happens. Love brings its own courageous knight to help me overcome fear.
When I quietly breathe and check in with my deeper Will, I get some understanding of “do I really want this (whatever it is) or not?” Can I find that deeper well of energy or is my idea, vision, hope built just on adrenaline which will soon run thin.
Will creates an interesting internal checkpoint. So take a few minutes this week as you breathe in love, ask yourself about your deeper Will. What insights come up?
Then go watch Rocky :).