Last year I sort of put myself through hell.
I helped a friend with his startup company out in Seattle while maintaining my day job.
This in itself isn't so bad, but I made it much harder on myself than was well, reasonable.
No biggie, that's all in the past.
At several points, I realized that the only way through a particular difficult point was to just bull my way through. A phrase came to mind that has stuck with me. It was this: My will is a force of nature.
I have no idea the origin of this phrase, other than my own tangled subconscious mind, which sometimes blesses me by breaking through to my conscious mind despite all the barriers it employs.
I remember sharing the phrase with a few people, and how I got some uncomfortable reactions. At the time I suspected these reactions were due to an assumption that the statement was one of ego or personal aggrandizement. One friend even advised me to keep that phrase to myself.
I'd much rather share, so I here I am.
However, I do feel that some explanation is in order.
As living creatures we are all part of the natural world. What we do is therefore "natural". Everything we accomplish in this life is through an act of will. When you raise your hand to scratch your nose, you are willing it to move. Your will utilizes a wonderous network of nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones to accomplish the task, but it's your will that does it.
As I think about this again, the initial realization returns and crystalizes outward in an expanding series of waves in my mind. Will is everywhere. Hermit crabs outgrow a shell and find another through will. Sure, modern science has labeled this type of will "instinct", but that's simply another facet of the same jewel. Will is creative. Will is subtle. Will grows in size and strength or even changes in character (think "style") to match the nature of the task at hand.
Sometimes, we have an intention to make a change in our lives but no idea how to bring it about. ("Intention" is merely a small quiet instance of will.) This trickle of will seems to creatively search for opportunities even when our conscious mind doesn't seem to be involved. How often do we have a small intention for something and suddenly rejoice at a "coincidence" that allows that intention to manifest?
Be careful of what you wish for.
I have several friends who have a history of participating in some rather esoteric studies. I have no real knowledge of any details of these traditions, but I suspect that at least partly they expound upon and train one in the use of one's will to change the world.
However, none of this is really a secret. We all use will every day of our lives. We choose what to eat. We choose to get up and go to work. Sometimes we choose to relive the past. We choose to reach out to each other. We shape our reality through the manifestation of our will.
We will ourselves through every single instant of our lives.
(As some buddhists say, there are an infinite number of moments within the snap of one's fingers.)
My theory is this: Last year, my subconscious gifted me with this phrase both to remind me that only through a decision to act would I complete my tasks at hand, and that I had at my disposal the one (really the only) tool required to accomplish my goals: will. As a motto or a creed, I found it rather empowering.
As I hope do you.