# 336: Will Moves Mountains

Cliff, Jimmy (1970). “You Can Get It if You Really want.” Musixmatch

Story behind the Passage

How much needs to happen for people to finally ACT? I am not talking about any specific action. I am simply talking about my life-long topic: the gap between thinking, talking, and acting. The question is always on my mind in relation to education. But there are times in life when I think about this even more than on other days. The reason is not because I am the “Ms. Does It All.” No! You are always moved by things that bother you. And I am still bothered by the fact that there are some things, big things, which I have not acted upon, no matter what.

Outsiders might say, in all these cases, that I have already done a lot. That is not true, however, if you define truth as the thing that “feels” true from a subjective perspective. There is one simple indicator that tells you if action took place: a result. In this case, I do not mean any “inner” result, like learning or growth or compliments, or whatever, I mean: tangible output. Anything that can be touched or measured by a third party. With respect to certain big dreams and later goals I once had, I never took the kind of action that would take me there. That is why I am saying — it is not true that I am a big actor.

The only difference between the things you do that lead to no results and those that lead to results can be summarized very easily: You have to want them. It is that simple and that complicated. There does not need to be any metaphysical thinking connected to it at this point, to keep things simple here. You can simply follow the strain of thought according to which what you really want will happen in some way, or at least something close to it. The output might not be exactly the thing you wanted to get to in the first place. Usually, the alternative ends up being something even greater. No matter of which scale and scope the output, what matters is the will — the wanting — behind the action. So, naturally, the question is not what to want in the first place but how to want!

Did your parents ever say about you when you were a child: She/he has a strong will?

My parents did that and sometimes I took it as a compliment, sometimes I took it as a curse. The way I responded to it, of course, depended on my state of mind. The times when I liked it, I liked wanting. The times when I hated it, I hated wanting. As I mentioned in one or more of my previous posts, my knowledge, thereby I mean my scholarly intellectual knowledge, on the topic of “free will” equals 0 at this point. But that is always the perfect starting position for new intellectual journeys. You need to be empty in order to get filled again, is something you find written in the Bible. Even before I knew that, I always approached learning that way. I knew nothing, I was curious, then I experienced bits and pieces, and then I learned intellectually because I wanted to make sense of the experience.

Contemporary universities do not work that way anymore, I know.

In any case, I am thinking so much about this now because I am again experiencing a leap when it comes to achieving the impossible based on will power — on really wanting something. And there, sorry for this slight insertion of some metaphysical thought, at least the question of what is “good” and what “makes sense” comes in. I personally think that these two, the moral and the pragmatic, cannot be separated. Only if you have personally entered a pact with a topic or a goal, if you really believe in its “goodness,” will you be able to mobilize all the power you need to get there. Only if you have even the slightest doubts about it, it will not work. I need to add, of course, that this also applies to those having really evil intentions, i.e., harmful for society. They generate the same will power and get quite far because they truly believe in the goodness of the action.

I am not separating here between action and goal because that is too complicated for a brief reflection like this one. But I also see that it is quite careless to not talk about it at all. Wht I mean is that there usually is a goal but not in the sense of only some means-end relation. The goal gets interwined with the doing, this is what I mean, and thus unfolds its magical power which makes you move mountains. This reflection here is not trivial for me now, even though it might sound like it. I think, at least this is what my current experience teaches me, that you have to reach a high level of anger on certain topics in order to then take a lot of time to turn anger into a positive force to then again transform it into real will power that makes you act in a positive way and with good-spirited intentions.

My Learnings

“Opposition will come your way.” In the song, they might be talking about “outer opposition.” But all I am saying here about the power of want is related to the inner demons, the inner opposition. So, in the end, you can have as many external opponents as you want. If you do not allow internal opposition to emerge, you will always take the next step, no matter what. This inner strength will come from the fact that you would give your life for this one big thing. And this realization that it actually needs this big thing, usually gets stronger the more you work on it. At the beginning, you might not even be convinced. As you walk, you realize how true your original thinking was in the first place. And this finding of looking at your own journey will make you move farther than you ever thought.

Again, all this sounds easy but when looking at the matter now, I am blown away by the fact that I truly undererstimated the full scope of will power. I do not mean this in some motivational psychological way. I mean it in a philosophical way. I have always been frustrated with, even outraged by the fact that I meet people every day who do not even WANT anything anymore except for: security (especially Germans…). I am not saying this is bad in general. You have to get used to not wanting things in order to be open to letting things happen. These are not opposites, though. But the big WANTING, the LONGING, the PASSION to make a difference, I am missing this.

And this leads to non-action. It leads to instability. It leads to stupidity. It leads to war.

I think, in my case, all this thinking about taking action is truly related to the topic of injustice. It might be completely off-topic in the context here, but for me, justice is such a decisively huge topic and so powerful for driving human action that I am also realizing how much of what I am thinking can be explained within this framework of fighting injustice, even if it is not on the surface of the agenda I might be propagating. But the agenda I am always propagating is education in one way or the other. And education equals happiness for me. It is the simplest equation I can come up with when trying to link all cultural, philosophical, theological, and personal insights. It is the most cruel injustice in the world to not advance or even steal holistic education from people, just as it means the complete bancruptcy of a state to not take care about all of this.

Caring is action.

Do you care about education?

You can get it if YOU really WANT.

Reflection Questions

1) Is there a thing that you really, really want but never actually tried to realize? What stops you?

2) Do you believe in the proverb “faith can move mountains”? Why/not?

3) Do you share the impression that past generations were more passionate and amibitious in pursuing certain goals?