By: Kaleigh Nobbe, Clinical Intern

There is a large difference between being willing and willful, especially when we consider how this impacts our daily lives. A willing person is prepared to act without being forced and is mindful about how they engage with the environment around them. A willful person refuses to tolerate the moment and can be bent on having their own way. When willful, a person can seem as if they are giving up or as though they “want what they want,” refusing to make changes.

To demonstrate this idea, I like to think of a dodgeball game. A willful person will stand on the court, allowing the balls to hit them, possibly hurt them, with a mindset of “I’m going to get hit anyways – might as well just stand here and let it happen.” A willing person will be on the court dodging, catching, throwing, running, and overall contributing. The willing understands they may be hit, and they choose to still participate. They accept what comes and act accordingly.

So how can understanding the difference between these two states change how you live your life? Willingness is where the result comes, but it takes surrendering to the process and the fact that things will go “wrong” throughout. It’s not linear; lessons, opportunities to stand back up, shifting is part of what’s needed for you to get what you want. It is understanding that your way might not be the way.


If you’re willing and ready to make changes to your life, we may be able to help.

Call Owens & Associates at 847-854-4333 for a free 15-minute consultation.