Willpower is the power to be willing
Have you ever heard the saying: Willpower is choosing between what you want now and what you want most?
The concept of willpower is somewhat synonymous to that of self control, restraint and the capacity within a person to delay their gratification.
But what if willpower is less about those white knuckling traits and more about the “power” within each of us to be “willing” to try something new?
I probably quote my favorite Louise Hay saying at least once a day and every other newsletter: “You don’t have to know how. You just have to be willing.”
The first time I heard these words, something in me unclenched and fundamentally changed.
A lot of us operate from an unconscious, presupposed idea that we’re supposed to already know how to do all the stuff we don’t know how to do. And when something doesn’t come easily, the problem must lie, we think, within us. We just need to exert more effort, try harder - as if pushing more vigorously on a locked door could open it by brute force alone.
I was the youngest and tallest in every single social environment of my childhood. A tragic combo that left me perpetually pretending; straining to keep up and be in the know with things I didn’t actually, authentically comprehend. The people around me - classmates, teachers, other neighborhood kids - related to me as though I was older and wiser than I was. Rather than correct their misperceptions, I tried to become the version of myself they imagined me to be.
Many of us grew up in some iteration of this misunderstanding. We were nudged or coerced into roles that were dishonoring of our true selves and confusing to us. After a while it’s hard to find that first strand of yarn as it gets balled and tangled. Pull on it, and the tangle turns into a gordian knot. We can spend the rest of our lives trying to tease it apart. Feeling like our real selves must be in there somewhere, but where isn’t exactly clear.
The answer is rarely about pulling harder or pushing with more might. True strength isn’t about forcefulness. It’s about knowing when to surrender and pivot into willingness.
WIllingness says: Show me. It admits it doesn’t know. But it has the humility and grace and esteem to want to try. It’s programmed by a higher knowing. Willingness is its own kind of power. It sees through the guise of time. It understands the paradox of “now” being simultaneously the most impatient word and the most holy. The present moment is where our choices count the most. It’s also the place where we tend blow it for ourselves, again and again, by picking the thing that feels good in the moment and screws us over for reaching our future goals.
So what do you want now? And what do you want most? Are they aligned? Does your Soul get to choose for you, inside your daily life? Or is your Ego the one calling the shots?
The task of staying conscious and connected to our most sacred wants and desires is daily work. It’s the reason I sit and write every morning. I need to remember who I am. Each day is a clean chalkboard. What do you want to say? Which equations are you solving for? Where are you coming from: Soul or Ego? True self or role play?
Are you clenching? Barely holding on? Insisting you know when you don’t actually know?
Or are you willing to listen? To surrender? To not know?
Where does your true power lie? In your capacity to push through the resistance? Or your willingness to bow down and say: “I don’t know. Please show me?”
Sending lots of love, light and clear seeing for the week ahead,