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Lack of Will Power The Obstacle to Success

With a weak will, one's life in its different aspects is sure to end in defeat. Misfortunes multiply as a result of an inert will, and neither talent nor genius can be substitutes for a powerful will. What is the use if one possesses outstanding talents and gifts but is unable to employ them beneficially in reaching his goals? Knowledge and learning are useless when one cannot employ these assets fruitfully with the help of will in reaching one's goal.

Think what would have been the state of man if he had been devoid of the faculty of will and determination. What would have been the state of the world and what results would have been achieved by the law of evolution and progress? A study of history reveals the fact that basically all human inventions and discoveries have been due to men of determination, who overcame all the obstacles and hardships in their way through perseverance and an unflagging determination, as a result of which they attained brilliant victories. Problems and hardships are bound to vanish before the genius and determination of someone who does not know defeat.

When Napoleon wanted to take his heavily armed forces through the dangerous and difficult pass of Saint Bernard, he consulted his military experts. He asked them if it was possible to get through the pass. The experts went into deep thought and they replied with doubt and hesitation that there might be a very slim chance of getting through the pass. On hearing their statements, Napoleon made a firm decision, and with a strong determination and without loss of time he gave the orders to advance.

England and Austria considered the decision of this powerful French general as a form of madness and recklessness, for it seemed improbable that he would be able to cross the Alps with all his equipment, heavy artillery and sixty thousand soldiers. But Napoleon had in his mind Messina, which was then under siege and the Austrian forces also threatened Nice.

When this dangerous and most difficult operation was carried out successfully and Napoleon crossed the Alps with his armies, some said that what Napoleon had done was not a difficult task after all. Others said that if they had done it before Napoleon, they would certainly have succeeded.

Many military commanders had the capacity and adequate power like Napoleon to carry out such an amazing operation. Only they lacked the necessary determination, and uncertainty, doubt and vacillation kept them from taking a decisive step and utilising appropriate opportunities. Instead of advancing they retreated, while Napoleon's firm decisions and quick movements earned this great French general such victories which left the world in amazement and wonder. The extraordinary volume of his daily work amazed everyone who knew him. He had the power to instil dynamism in the most dispirited of soldiers and to put the spirit of courage into the most timid of individuals. He would often sit through the night reading reports and answering letters.

There is no secret formula of success. Rather success is the natural result of effort and endeavour in carrying out one's work. The foremost of persons in this world who overcome obstacles and difficulties are those who have a strong will power and who, like the eagle, make use of strong winds to climb to elevated heights. For this kind of individuals, who have initiative, no difficulty can cause them to abandon their decisions; rather, they consider defeat as a bridge to victory. Their morale grows in the midst of hardships and whatever the stage of life they may be in, they can always make a mark in the world.

Adapted from: "Ethics and Spiritual Growth" by: "Sayyid Mujtaba Musawi Lari"

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