It’s Friday, and you’re tired. Not just tired—you’re exhausted. You walk into your 9 a.m. “Just four more classes, and I’m done,” you whisper to yourself. You sit in class, mind racing to everything you must do that day, and it seems impossible. “I can’t do this,” you think.
It’s the final lap of a race, and your legs feel like jelly. You can see the finish line; you can taste victory. Your opponents seem miles behind you. “One more lap,” you tell yourself, “I just have to make it through one more lap.” You keep pushing, but the voice in your head screams, “Give up now!”
In both situations, you’re fighting this thought: I can’t. Perhaps you’re too tired to stay awake through your last class, and you begin to believe you might as well not go. Or maybe you just know that your legs are going to give way, and there’s no way you can keep running. Willpower is staying the course for “one more.” It is looking in the face of “I can’t” and declaring “I will.”
We think of people with great willpower as those who go above and beyond. Those are the people who accomplish more than any normal person could, and we only dream of achieving those great things. When the word willpower is thrown around, we believe it’s for the elite group. We could never, right? We tell ourselves, “I can’t.”
We think that if we cannot achieve greatness, there is no use in trying. That we’ll never be as good as the next guy. That we should give up. We lose our willpower. In fact, we don’t even try to use it. We let the monster of doubt, fear, and lies take over. We forget who we are, Who made us, and the power He has placed in us. We forget all of that in favor of believing we are weak and unworthy. We give up so easily that we take defeat.
But willpower is not a trait reserved for the mighty. Rather, it is a savior for the weak. It is not setting out to be the best; it is setting out to finish. Willpower is keeping on when you’d rather quit, looking the enemy in the face as it screams, “You can’t! You can’t!” and telling it, “I will.” It is making it through “one more” and triumphantly saying “I did.”