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Where There Is A Will, There Is A Way
“When you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” These lines from Paulo Coelho’s book ‘The Alchemist’ philosophise the proverb ‘where there is a will, there is a way’. This proverb was stated slightly differently in 1640 (To him that will, ways are not wanting) but has been repeated in its present form since 1800’s. Human psyche is subject to will. But what is will? Going by the dictionary meaning it is a strong determination to do something. But will is more than simply determination. It is a sense which engulfs your soul and mind with power. There is an old adage “if you want to check somebody’s character give him power ‘. Will empowers you to break the barriers and tread your own path. It is, indeed, a test of character. Your will brings the best out of you. All of us have ambitions and aspirations, intense or mild. But the fear of failures and adversities deters us from doing what we want to do as we don’t want to come out of our ‘comfort Zone’ (a sheer delusion). In many other cases, people strive to achieve their goals but often falter at the brink of success. To garner will and follow it up with hard work and perseverance is a challenge. It is after overcoming this challenge that we metamorphose and surmount the summit within. Our entire personality changes once we do that and when we look back at our journey, we feel happy. Our will drives pessimism away. But are there any prerequisite requirements for ‘will’ to be materialized into ‘way’. Yes, we need preparedness. We must be prepared to be both brazen and modest. We must be prepared to accept mistakes and rectify them. We must be prepared to learn from our failures. We must be prepared to introspect and retrospect. We must be prepared to put our soul into our work and slither on the wheels of hard work. Remember, perseverance, optimism, planning and implementation are the cogs in the wheel of hard work. Last but not the least; we must be prepared to seek divine intervention in hours of distress. Our will triggers a virtuous cycle which sets us on our way to success. In this way our ‘will’ will pave way for ‘way’.
Let us remind all those who blame their failures on destiny that ‘destiny is not a change but a choice, we cannot wait for it, we can only go ahead and catch it. If we are headstrong, we can make our own way. Destiny will fall in our feet like flowers.
We will encounter troubles, tragedies and traumas on our way but if we hold our nerves at these crucial moments, such catch-22s are no barriers. This entire universe is being governed by someone who is sitting up there and he is not a megalomaniac. He is watching us and he always helps us for our good. When we sincerely want to do something the entire universe sits up and says “look we have been waiting for this guy and we will help him reach his goal, but life is not a fairy tale, we will examine him and test him to see whether he deserves to get there or not.”
Our history and present, both testify that a ‘will’ finds a ‘way’. It was because of his strong will that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi freed India from slavery of British. Bapu’s strong determination and vision of an Independent India saw him create a revolution. By virtue of his novel concept of ‘Satyagrah’ and non-violent movements, India not only got independence but an altogether new idea of protests and movements evolved which caused radical changes. There were obstacles and ramifications but a strong will saw India surge through them. Bapu not only became the father of the nation but his ideals got entrenched in our society. The unprecedented way he showed us continues to find ardent followers.
Barack Obama, the incumbent president of USA and the Nobel peace laureate, is known as man of changes. With his international policies, Obama has changed the image of America which symbolized hegemony. His fervent will to change things was evident from his poll campaign. He eloquently emphasized the need of change during poll speeches and America saw history being made. His will kept reflecting as he assumed office and within eight months he was nominated for Nobel Prize. The world gasped as Nobel was bestowed upon him. It is due to the implications of Barack Obama’s strong will that we saw him reaching out to the Muslim community by the medium of his speeches. His gesture is in sharp contrast with George W. Bush’s draconian approach, also, he has promised to do away with Guantanamo Bay.
It was because of his ardent will followed up with intense hard work that we saw Sachin Tendulkar transform from a prodigy to a genius. Today, ‘The Masterblaster’ has gone past unconquerable milestones to become India’s biggest icon. There were others like Vinod Kambli who displayed, if not the same but similar panache but could not get anywhere. What’s conspicuous is Sachin’s attitude and inherent preparedness which took him to dizzying heights.
Chetan Bhagat, arguably India’s most popular author because of his appeal amongst the youth and lucid and attractive expression of ideas, is an IIT-IIM product. He toiled all his student life to get that coveted IIT-IIM tag but went on to become an author. Actually, he always wanted to become a writer who can bring a change with his writing. Even after getting the IIT-IIM tag and a successful career as an investment banker he took the daunting step of becoming an author. His first book was rejected by several publishers before becoming a bestseller. New York Times described him as largest selling Indian author. He had a will and he found the way.
Billy Arjan Singh, who recently went for his heaven abode, was a tiger conservationist. He made Dudhwa Tiger Reserve what it is today. He had immense love and affection for tigers. He fought with the system and everyone who was detrimental to the creature, which is virtually on verge of extinction in India, his entire life. He had a will and made a remarkable contribution towards the conservation of tigers. His death was hailed as the end of the tiger conservation era. These were a few personalities who created an impact in the world. But what does that mean to you and me. Their stories teach us that if you have the audacity to chase your goals nothing can deter you from succeeding. If we take cue from them and apply these principles to our lives, we cannot change the world but we can at least change ourselves.
However, there is a darker side of ‘where there is a will, there is a way’ approach. Ten terrorists played out carnage in Mumbai on 26-11-2008. In a siege that went on for 60 hours, 173 people were killed. Those terrorists built their will on false notion of ‘Jihad’ and ran amok. More recently on Christmas Eve, a Nigerian made a botched attempt to blow up a Detroit bound airliner. Such instances are grim. Outwardly, the proponents of violence may have had an impact on the world but they have made us stronger from within. The bottom-line is that the wrong path must not be chosen.
Here are a few ways which can help us to accomplish our goals or strengthen the “will-way” relationship. Though these steps can improve only small things in our life but it can lead to a big change.
• Yoga and meditation, if done regularly, can reduce stress and provide one with a sound body and mind.
• Planning your short term and long term goals and accordingly following a schedule can be of great help.
• When you are passionate it is easier to stay focused. So, do things with passion or do things which you are passionate about.
• Laziness, Anger and Ignorance must be dealt with seriously as their absence can improve your chances of succeeding in life.
• Base your conduct on the principal of RSH ( Regularity Sincerity and Honesty)
The paradox of chasing your goal in life is that after accomplishing it there is a feeling of ‘what-next’, as some would say. The truth remains that success is not a destination but a journey.