by Brent Menninger

  Willingness = DOING JUST WHAT IS NEEDED in each situation, in an unpretentious way. A wonderful outcome of Willingness is Effectiveness.
  Willingness = listening very closely to your WISE MIND, acting from your inner self.
  Willingness = ALLOWING into awareness your connection to the universe, to the earth, to the floor you are standing on, to the chair you are sitting on, to the person you are talking to.
  Willfulness is SITTING ON YOUR HANDS when action is needed, refusing to make changes that are needed.
  Willfulness is GIVING UP.
  Willfulness is the OPPOSITE OF 'DOING WHAT WORKS,' being effective.
  Willfulness is trying to FIX every situation.
  Willfulness is REFUSING TO TOLERATE the moment.

Willingness versus Willfulness

Willingness is the skill of realizing you are part of and connected to the rest of the universe.  Willingness is playing your part, as best you can, with what you have, at this point in time.  Willingness is a commitment to actively participate in your part of the cosmic process and allow the world to be what it is, no matter what happens. Willingness is bringing the attitude of full participation to your life.

Willfulness is disconnecting from your Wise Mind and the opposite of willingness.  If willingness is realizing you are a part of and connected to life, willfulness is denying reality, refusing to be part of the cosmic process, or giving up hope.  Willfulness is saying no to life itself, saying no to reality, and saying no to what is.  If you experience willfulness, turn your mind back to Radical Acceptance. 

Alacrity can readiness and eagerness; alacrity is a special kind of willingness that is characterized by cheerfulness.  This is willingness as joyous activity.

Willingness is the skill of realizing you are part of and connected to the rest of the universe.

Metaphors for willingness and willfulness

Hitting baseballs from a pitching machine is a metaphor for willingness. Like the pitching machine keeps throwing balls at you, life throws reality at you. You need to keep your eye on the ball to hit it and swing. As each ball comes, focus on giving it your best shot.  Willfulness, crying, defiance or denial does not stop the ball.  If you stand in the way of the ball, BAM!, the ball hits you. You will not hit any balls if you stand there doing nothing. Ignoring the ball does not make it stop coming.  Willingness is taking your best swing at the ball. 

Life is like a game of cards

It makes no difference to a good card player what cards she is dealt.  Her objective is to play each hand as well as possible.  As soon as one hand is played, another hand is dealt. She puts the last game behind her and focuses on the current game.  She is mindful to play the current hand the best she can. She knows that if she plays her cards skillfully, she is doing the best she can. She can only control what cards she plays, not the hand she is dealt or how the others play. When she plays her cards, she lets go of what she can not control. Win or lose, she accepts how the cards fall.  When one game is over, she focuses on the next hand of cards.

How will you play the next hand life deals you? With acceptance of a tough reality? Turning your mind to how you can make the best of a tough situation?  Willing to look for solutions? You can do it!

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