"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." Mahatma Gandhi


Will is what we use to make things happen. It is a resource that can be extremely powerful and dynamic, and that we can use to create change in a variety of ways. As well as being a basic function of human existence the concept of will is inextricably linked to leadership and the personal choices we make. At WYSE we explored various types of Will, each with their own strengths and qualities:

  • Strong Will: Strong focus, forge straight ahead;

  • Skilful Will: Harmonious, creative, diplomatic, cooperative, organising, cohesive, enabling;

  • Good Will: Choosing aims that are consistent with the welfare of others and the common good of humanity;

  • Transpersonal Will: Often termed "vertical" and experienced as a "pull" from above (coming from the higher self);

  • Universal Will: Connects us with ultimate Universal reality – greater plan .

Different situations require different types of Will – this is where self-awareness and practice with expressing different types of Will can be very useful. It also means there are several ways to create change; sometimes using a different type of Will may be much more effective. Ultimately, Will is a fuel to realise our dreams and goals.

Connect to the programme

Thinking back on your time on the program you created a drama in which you acted out certain aspects of the Will.

  • How did your group act out the different aspects? You might also have carried out the "pick a spot and walk to it" activity

  • Did you find this exercise challenge, if so why?

  • Which types of Will do you think you have been using since returning from the program? Has your experience been different to before the program?

10/10/10 – Doing, Reflecting, Connecting

Doing – physical activity: Exercise your will by trying some of the following:

  • Complete a task that you have been putting off (strong will)

  • Organise a team or group of friends on an activity (skilful will)

  • Identify a local cause that you want to commit to and sign up! (good will)

  • Pick any physical activity and do it with focussed, mindful intent that comes from your higher self (transpersonal will)

  • Tell someone you love them and why (universal will)

Reflecting – thinking, meditating: Think of a person/hero you admire for his Will – find a quiet moment for mediation, and invite this person to connect with you and have a conversation (imagine or real): what do you like / find inspirational in this person, what can you learn, what would this person tell you?

Connecting – singing, speaking, sharing with others: Share your experiences with your homegroup on your Facebook page.

  • What did it feel like to express your Will?

  • What did you find challenging?

  • What was the effect of the changes you made etc?


Exercising the different types of Will is something that comes naturally for some, but that others find challenging. Remember - practice makes perfect!

A story of strong will (Hideki from Japan):
Living abroad and experiencing different cultures was a dream of mine since I was a child. I was born in 1980 and raised in Okinawa, a tropical island located in the southern part of Japan. I enjoyed playing the guitar and hanging out with my friends. I had an easy life there. When I was seventeen, I decided to move to U.S.A. alone to study for one year at a local high school in Minnesota, even though my father did not support the idea. I guess I was young and fearless at that time (some might call it naive).

When I first moved to the U.S., I did not speak English at all. The first three months were very challenging for me because, aside from the language barrier, I was the only Asian at the school and I had little money, no cellular phone, no car, and no friends. I missed my family and friends back home. I could have chosen to quit and go home, but I did not give up because it was the path that I had chosen and I was determined to see it through to the end. So, I found the inner strength and used my strong will to study hard and be as social as possible at school. I was forced to step far outside my comfort zone. By the time I returned to Japan, I had become fluent in English, integrated myself into American culture and made tons of friends.

Without this experience, I would have lived a completely different life (and would most probably not have had the opportunity to join the ILP and meet all of the wonderful coaches and friends there.) I always knew that I could find and use strong will, but the WYSE coaches taught me how to access it and use it more effectively. Thank you, WYSE, for this unforgettable experience.

Further reading

  • The Will Wiki www.willproject.org: A Program of Research on the Will and Its Applications

  • The Act of Will: A Guide to Self-actualisation and Self-realisation, Roberto Assagioli: This book discusses the important process of willing as a psychological function based on a higher self rather on guilt or determination.