"Will" must be Worked on, it must be cultivated carefully. Our machines can stand in the way of our will, so goals, intention and activities must be clear and unrelenting.
Since the Democratic takeover of the House in January, Democrats have seemed to be adamant about troop withdrawal and bringing the war to a close. The proposed Emergency war funding bill would have imposed specific dates for troop withdrawal from Iraq.
Democrats knew they were up against a presidential veto of the bill, but they appeared resolved to push the measure through, knowing their base is anti-war. But when President Bush did veto the bill, the Democratic Will did not take them to the next step, it was not strong enough to push beyond the hurdle and move through the resistance. Instead, the relented, creating a new bill that gave the president more money than asked for, without any provisions for troop withdrawal. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "But make no mistake: Democrats are committed to ending this war."
This event was the antithesis of Will building. The Democrats appeared to have a clear objective: timetables for troop withdrawal, and after much media coverage and sound bytes; when they faced an obstacle, the presidential veto, instead of taking it to court, they relented.
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer indicated that the next bill will include benchmarks for Iraq. But their will has already been degraded. The next time…a great excuse for the sleeping machine, but the president is likely to veto other similar measures. Without a strong collective Will to end the war, the Democrats could always end up backing down, never developing their strength, will, and never taking the step to end this war.
Because they have shown themselves to be easily dissuaded, their words hold no weight. Words must be followed through by action; the Will must push you through. To develop Will, you cannot back down at the first sign of resistance. There will be thousands of obstacles: your machine desires, the pull of the sleeping state, societal conventions, people, TV shows, friends, family…there are bountiful opportunities to submit and back down, especially for the most meaningful actions... The Work.
So to develop Will, we must be clear and precise with our intentions, then move through the obstacles that come before us, they come from the outside and within.