Reflections on the Power of a Willing Heart

Written by on July 25, 2016 in Sense of Purpose with 27 Comments

The Power of a Willing Heart

A willing heart opens the door to endless possibilities …

“Action is the fundamental key to all success.” “There is absolutely nothing that increases a person’s chances at success more than TAKING ACTION.” “Create a plan for carrying out your desired results and then whether you are ready or not, put this plan into action.”

Sound familiar?

It should because these pearls of wisdom are taken directly from the volumes of information and advice you’ll find online about achieving goals, managing change, and overcoming obstacles, which is nearly always focused on two key areas – planning and taking action.

While there is no question these are critical steps in any process, there is one undervalued and often overlooked element to successfully achieving, well anything really, and that is a willing heart.

Now I appreciate this may seem like little more than an exercise in word play, but bear with me for a moment.

What prevents most people from achieving goals is simply a lack of willingness; willingness to pay the price, to make a great effort, to sacrifice comfort in order to accomplish those goals. ~Orison Marden

Willingness is the state of being ready to do something, but more than that it opens the door to possibilities and creates space in your mind and heart. For example, if you think about it, courage is simply the willingness to be afraid and act anyway.

A willing heart says I am not only committed to doing the work and making the sacrifices necessary to achieve my goal (or overcome my problems), I intend to grow stronger and more resilient as a result of this experience.

When you have a willing heart you are able to …

  • Consider other viewpoints and beliefs.
  • Admit you need help.
  • Pursue a dream despite the odds.
  • Try new things outside your comfort zone.
  • Say yes to life more than you say no.
  • Recognize when something isn’t working.
  • Overcome fear and discomfort to ask for what you want.

Recently in my article Asking For Help is an Opportunity For Growth, I shared a story about the challenges I was experiencing relocating my dog with me from Hawaii to the mainland. Snub nose dogs (like my Lucy) have been banned from live animal cargo on flights for health reasons so to relocate her I had to go with a private service which is expensive. In order to make that happen, I had to be willing to admit I couldn’t manage the expense on my own so I put my ego on the back burner and held a fundraiser.

It turned out to be an amazing experience for so many reasons, but it would never have happened had I not been willing to open the door to receive help and support from others.

We seldom do anything to the best of our ability. We do it only to the extent of our willingness. ~Author Unknown

What Are You Willing to Let Into Your Life?

Willingness is not just about mustering the courage to face a problem or achieve an important goal. It’s also about having the desire and motivation to experience life fully, with a deep sense of wonder and gratitude.

It’s asking yourself, “How willing am I right now to open myself to this new experience … how much do I really want this?”

How about you? What are you willing to let into your life today?

Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become.
About Marquita Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living  click here.

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  1. Mary Sloane

    I love your premise of an open heart being the key to an open mind. You always inspire me with your beautiful and thoughtful writing.

    I think we sometimes fear to open our hearts and minds for fear of being hurt but as I learn more and more about the power of reframing I see that closing our hearts and minds can be the beginning of our death. Without newness and change and excitement and growth, e begin little by little to die.

    So I’m stretching myself everyday to do more and be more

    Did your little dog make it to Portland and have you settled in?

    To Great Success

    Mary Sloane recently posted…Are You Caught in the “Hurry” Trap?My Profile

  2. Susmita

    Willingness as you said is about; taking what life is giving us and learning from it.
    My desire and my Will has made me who i am today, in spite of ups and downs in my life it’s my will who has taken me ahead if it is for accomplishing small desires or long term goals

  3. William Rusho

    It makes me ponder and think about Willingness, can be similar to being determined.
    Athletes, who over years of training, are determined to reach their goal, but are unwilling in other areas of their lives.
    I think willingness is more than this, it is more than be able able to accept what it is done, it is having the fortitude to do what is right. If you are able to sacrifice for others, and what is right, then that is true willingness.

  4. Dave

    So very well stated, Marty, and the way you have not only worded it, but also lived it is inspiring. Thank you for such a simple, yet profound message. It’s an idea that I’m not only willing, but excited to embrace. Best wishes to you and Lucy on new beginnings and adventures 🙂
    Dave recently posted…Across the BridgeMy Profile

  5. Erica says:

    I like your mention of having an open heart. I’ve never heard that mentioned when talking about goal setting and it makes sense why that would be important.

    I’m happy to hear that things are working out with transporting your dog. That is so weird about snub nosed dogs and airplanes. Totally off the topic, but my dog has the weird prejudice against snub nosed dogs and I’ve always wondered why. Interesting to acknowledge that “racism” exists in the animal kingdom too.
    Erica recently posted…Gluten-Free Diets: Fact vs FictionMy Profile

  6. Jeri

    I’m working on following my heart more and figuring out what I want, which means letting more things in. It’s like visiting an alien planet at times 😉
    Jeri recently posted…#AuthorInterview: Erik ThermeMy Profile

  7. Mark

    First of all, I really love your title to this particular blog post M!

    And I also love your quote from the unknown author!That is a tweetable, if I ever read one!LOL!

    And your insightful perspective on willingness, really says it all and helps us gain a much deeper understanding, of part of the main reasons, we do and think the way we do!

    It’s just like you shared, it all pretty much comes down to, how willing and committed we are! Just another outstanding post M!

    You always manage, to get to see and explore, just a little bit more, than we thought we could!LOL! Thanks!
    Mark recently posted…What Do Savvy Entrepreneurs Know About Effective Lead Generation Their Major Competitors Don’t? Part ThreeMy Profile

    • As always, you are so kind Mark. I’m so glad you enjoyed the article, it always makes my day when people tell me something I’ve written has caused them to think of life in a new way. 🙂

  8. sazia

    Hi, Great tips yes willingness is a strong key to success. We have to take step though it is tough and move forward with positive thinking. without willingness it is not possible to get success. Thanks for sharing
    sazia recently posted…Love Beetroot-Health Benefits and NutritionMy Profile

  9. Donna Janke

    Beautiful. How rich life can be if lived with a willing heart!
    Donna Janke recently posted…History and Architecture Photo TourMy Profile

  10. I’ve been looking at my life this way: “I’m not willing to live the rest of it this way.”
    Then figuring out the ways I want the future to be.
    And you’re so right–it is all about what am I willing to put my heart into and burst full speed ahead with.
    Wonderful perspective, Marty.
    RoseMary Griffith recently posted…7 Ways to be Okay Acting Like a TouristMy Profile

  11. Phoenicia

    Your photographs are captivating, especially this week’s

    Pride can stop us from asking for assistance. It shows maturity when someone can admit they do not know how. Asking equals learning and development.

  12. Sabrina Quairoli

    As usually, this is so inspiring, Marquita. I agree, if we are not willing to change, then nothing will happen. Willingness is the key to change. Thank you for the reminder.
    Sabrina Quairoli recently posted…Tips to help your parents downsize their stuffMy Profile

  13. Lea Bullen

    Hi Marquita,
    I never really looked at this it this way but you’re so right. It’s easier to immerse yourself and take tough action when your heart is in it. If you don’t give the experience your all, you’re all talk.

  14. Marquita, a willing heart can leave you vulnerable because it requires revealing yourself — and that is difficult to do as you point out in the example of moving your dog. We worry what people will think of us. But most often they will respond positively if they feel you are truly being sincere and what a wonderful feeling it is to make that intimate connection.

  15. Donna Merrill

    Hi Marquita,

    Without “Willingness” I don’t thing we can get very far in just about anything in life. When we are, we can take an honest look at ourselves, especially when it comes to knowing we need help with something.

    When we are willing, we can stretch our imagination to just about anything we desire. I find that to be a good starting point of growth.

    As always, you have opened up a great part of our minds and I appreciate it so much.

    Donna Merrill recently posted…5 Top Newbie Blogger MistakesMy Profile

  16. Ken Dowell

    There are some endeavors, notably sports, where the role of the heart is widely recognized. But you don’t usually see it referred to in this type of coaching. It certainly belongs. Good post.
    Ken Dowell recently posted…Theme Parks: The Unusual, the Outrageous and the Outright AwfulMy Profile

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