There is a four letter word that is woven into the fabric of my soul, and that word is WILL. I have always had the WILL to persevere, the WILL to believe in myself, the WILL to take action and the WILL to never give up. This word has given me the unyielding strength to conquer all the negative situations I’ve encountered. WILL has allowed me to make something positive out of my life. I came up with an acronym for W.I.L.L., about never giving up. There is always a way! You can do whatever you want to, but you must first have the WILL to follow things all the way through to success.
There are those people who say, “I would have done something with my life if I had more time.” Then there are those who say, “I could have been something if I had only applied myself.” Or how about the ones who say, “I should have devoted more time to my family.” Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda—but most of all, SHOULDA NEVER GIVEN UP!!!! Life is a test, and we have to face reality. Success comes from trying and trying again until finally you succeed. All it takes is a spark and for me that spark starts the flame of desire and the will to never give up!
When I was married at age 23, I didn’t even have a job. I got laid off right before the wedding day. In fact, the night before our wedding, my wife’s maid of honor called her up very concerned, and told her that she shouldn’t marry me because I was immature and didn’t have a job. When my wife told me about the phone call that night, I couldn’t believe it. My wife sure had a lot of faith in me. Needless to say, it was awkward the next day when looking at the maid of honor.
We stayed our distance, but I guess I can’t blame her for what she did. She was just another person who didn’t have faith in me. My wife had complete faith in me, why else would you marry an unemployed man. I am here to tell you that we were living off of love. Then my wife was laid off from her job a month after we were married. We were both unemployed, living off unemployment. We were living on noodles and frozen vegetables, with the occasional hotdog thrown in. The honeymoon marriage was short-lived, and now we were in the real world. It was a crazy time for us. We had lots of stress, arguments, and doubts about whether our marriage was even going to work. At one point we thought about calling it quits and going back home to our parents.
But we had a meeting and decided we would be a team from that point on. We had never lived with each other and barely even knew one another. We had only been dating for a few months before I proposed, and we were married just one year from the day we met. It was quite an eventful year. I just knew she was the one for me. When you know, you know. So right after we were married, we were completely broke and living off unemployment. We were having the hardest time getting along and wondering what we were going to do with ourselves. I finally found a job in sales and promised myself that I would never be broke again. With hard work I excelled at my new occupation, but I could never have done it without my wife’s support and the WILL within me. I was determined to improve my life, and with that determination I succeed in providing a quality life for my wife and children.
There are two words that, when used together, really get under my skin. They are “I can’t.” Once you say those words, you are right! You have sold yourself out and will give up without a fight.
If you ever get into a situation where you want to give up, you will do much better for yourself by saying “I can do this,” “I can make this happen,” and, “I can win.” Just the words “I can” produce more energy for your mind, and this will empower you. Life is hard, but only the tough-minded will get somewhere. Everything you want in life is within your reach. But you have to empower yourself to reach out and grab it. There is no comfort in being comfortable. Comfort comes from the strength earned from growing through discomfort. Comfort comes by gaining strength from adversity. Comfort is self-confidence. Comfort comes from knowing that you have the WILL to do whatever it takes.
“I’ve missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot…and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan
Do not hesitate to exercise your WILL in order to take the actions necessary to shaping your life the way you want. Remember, this is your life, not your parents, teachers’, church authorities’, neighbors’, friends’ or boss’s. Take control now so that when you are older, you won’t let everyone walk all over you and make you subservient. You are equal to any other person, and nobody is better than you. We all have the same blood, we are of the same species, and that means nobody is greater than you. Not me, not the President of the United States. It’s all a frame of mind. I have been in the same room with people who are worth five-hundred million dollars, even billions. They are no different and no better than you or I. The only difference between them and the average person is that they took decisive action and “went for it.” To make their dreams reality, they persevered through all the hard times until they got to where they are today. That’s it! Their great success came from simply following things through to the end.
Don’t let stress or pressures consume your mind and overwhelm you. Think doubt and fail, think success and have victory in your life. By adding pressures upon pressures, and realizing how these pressures add up to create a massive burden, you can finally come to recognize the ways in which your mind continually acts like a broken record. Because you may be constantly trying to dig your way out of a ditch, you come to feel overwhelmed, like you’re never accomplishing anything. You find yourself “ping-ponging” through life, lost in the maze of your mind. You go through the routines of life like a zombie, and are zombies happy? Not very.
So much of our energy is spent dealing with the daily pressures that we may never take the time to do what we want to do, and that is accomplishing our dreams.
Use your WILL. We all have it somewhere buried in our hearts. To me WILL is the “Holy Grail” of building the life you’ve always wanted. It separates the achievers and those so-called “dreamers” who are unwilling to take action.
If you lack the WILL, you get the leftovers of what life has to offer. Go out into this world of limitless possibilities and make WILL your best friend!
Written by Motivational and Inspirational Speaker Derek Clark
Here is a little history about Derek Clark:
Derek Clark’s story is one of resilience and redemption. Derek spent 13 years in the San Francisco bay area foster care system. Before entering foster care, Derek suffered unthinkable child abuse, abandonment and emotional distress, Derek knows first hand on how to cope with adversity and overcoming hardship. His past reflects a life of humiliation, aggression, emotional distress and overwhelming anxiety. He has experienced the life of fear and rejection and much more.
At five years old Derek’s mother and stepfather turned him over to the county social services but kept his brother and sister. Derek felt as if he had been deleted from his family. His father was in prison for the criminally insane. Psychiatric reports stated that at the age of five years old, Derek had severe behavioral problems and fascinations of extreme violence and death. Neurological reports stated that at six years old, he had the IQ of a two and a half year old and diagnosed him with erratic psychosis. Having also been misdiagnosed as mentally handicapped and having numerous emotional and language difficulties, Derek never gave up. With the help of his foster parents and mentors, he has defied the artificial limitations imposed upon him. This has never held Derek back from accomplishing what he set his heart and mind to. From owning a very successful corporation to having a family, his maxim is to make no excuses.
Derek is an inspiring motivational speaker, the Ambassador for the Foster Care Alumni of America and an expert on CNN Headline News and The Ricki Lake Show. Google has ranked Derek the #3 “inspiring motivational speaker” out of 30 million listings and is also ranked #2 on Google for “stories on never giving up” out of 1.4 billion results. He is the author of “Never Limit Your Life” and the “I Will Never Give Up” book series.
As a speaker, author and singer/songwriter, Derek has spoken and performed his music for a few million people from Australia to Canada including a former President of the United States. His maxim is to make no excuses. He has turned his situation from a victim to a victor, equipping him with the Wisdom and the Will to never give up.