It is often said that we are “creatures of habit.” We speak of exercising “the will” to control or change bad habits or to develop positive habits. I might try to will my way to a new exercise program and I may strive to lose weight. I may want to get past an addiction like drugs, alcohol, or pornography. I exercise my will and try to develop positive habits. I may share this goal with others and even solicit their support. These are good positive things it is true. Your attempts may be sincere. But what often happens, like in the case of alcoholism, is that we just tend to trade “isms” like we trade in a car for a different one. “Will” is not enough. Will is important but it is not enough.
We must turn our hearts to who we truly are and what we may become. We need not only understand ourselves and exercise our will; we also need to understand our social geography and our destiny. We must have a true picture of where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. We must develop our character in light of this macro view and our role in the bigger picture.
Will is important, but will does not change character. Character changes will.