The person you want to be: an introduction to willing

This is willing: it’s an attitude, a posture, a way of thinking.


There’s a man in the neighborhood who has no education, but works three jobs to support his wife and kids. He’s dirty and sweaty when he gets home, but he has a smile on his face, and he somehow still has time to invite you over for dinner.

There’s a cancer patient who is always smiling and full of energy, even when she’s completely drained. She’s making jokes and talking to you about her friends — not her chemo.

There’s a young family with a down syndrome daughter, who invites you into their home and prays for you. Their daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, but they take every challenge with determination and pride.

We know these kinds of people exist. Every day is a challenge, and while they probably wish things were easier, they don’t hold anything back. They’ve put everything out on the table, because they know that life is simply better lived that way.

What is it about these people? Why are they attractive to us?

Is it possible to become like them, even if we don’t have cancer, a down syndrome child, or a manual labor job?

The thing about these people, in my opinion, is something I call will.

It’s not the results. These people never would have chosen the hand they were dealt.

It’s not desire. Most days, these people have to do things they really don’t want to do.

But one thing they are: and that is willing.

They know what they have to do, and they go do those things willingly. They hold the door for people, they practice hospitality, and they are kind — even though they have more than enough reasons not to be.

This is willing: it’s an attitude, a posture, a way of thinking.

I believe we can learn from these people. I believe that, if we examine the lives of people that face life willingly, then we’ll find lots of things we want to copy, that we can copy. And I think eventually we can become people who are a little more willing than we are now.

Want to finish this story?

This and other stories of the will are included in our new free ebook, The book of WILLING.

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