When I was growing up my mother had a lot of “old time sayings” that she would impart on a daily basis. The one she would share most of the time was “where there is a will there is a way.” It was this sentence I heard almost everywhere I would go back then. From the ladies in church to my teachers in school, they all had this in their repertoire.

Somehow back then it seemed as though they were suggesting that every one had the will to make they way. If that were true then why did our neighbor paint his car a different color every six months instead of buying a new car? And I do mean paint it too. We would leave for school in the morning to see that man out there sanding down the car. By the time we got out of school he was there, paint brush in hand painting away. Under the cloak of darkness his new paint job would dry and it would not be visible until the following dawn.

For myself, I was always reminded of this statement each time report cards came out. Because it seemed as though I needed to find some will to make my way to good grades. It was not until I graduated high school that my ‘Will” began to surface. After just making it across that stage and receiving a diploma I was determined to do better than most in college. Under my mother’s doubtful gaze, I went from a straight D+ average to Dean’s list in the first semester. A fact that was confirmed when my mother called the college to confirm that 3.5 was code for a B+.

While most of my friends in college were out partying, I was at home organizing all the work I had to complete in each class for the semester. I knew my preparations had paid off at the end of the semester when everyone else was panicking and I was cruising my way into finals. It was my WILL that helped me make my way to maintaining a Dean’s list presence all four years.

I am not sure where I get the ‘will” from exactly. I sometimes equate it to the desire to survive. But I think it is more than that. To have the “will” is one thing. To use it to make they “way” is what separates those who want to just merely survive and those who are determined to thrive. Whatever it is, I have relied on it many times over the years and it has served me well.

Do you have the “WIll” to make the “WAY”? Are you willing to do things differently from others in order to reach your goals?