I heard someone ask their team where they stood on the spectrum between willingness and ability. I started thinking about other people I knew, and their willingness or ability, and then, of course, I turned it on myself.
I have known some very able people, who, if they would actually sit down and do their work for a minute, could have been very successful. These people drive the rest of us nuts because while you’re sitting there working hard, this person seems to be doing anything but their own job.
Now willingness and ability on a spectrum doesn’t make sense to me. What if someone has 100% ability and 100% willingness? Or vice-versa, what if someone has no ability and no willingness? It doesn’t make sense to me that this is an either/or scenario.
But, willingness and ability, especially in regards to work, deserve to be looked at together regardless. I believe that if someone is willing, the ability will come. Practice, practice and more practice will eventually lead to great results. As long as we remain open-minded to learning new things, we can be successful.
However, if someone has the ability, and is unwilling to do the work, I’m not sure that this person should be given a free ride. We’ve all known capable people, who for whatever reason, coast on their ability. It seems unfair to the rest of us, that what should come so easy to one can be so difficult to master for another.
I had a close friend like this once. I studied for hours everyday for a test, that he would just waltz in and take with no studying. He was happy enough with his A’s and B’s, while I worked hard to earn the very best grades I possibly could. I would get so frustrated internally with how unfair it was, but in the end, I got promotion after promotion, while he remained in the same unhappy job for years. See, he was unable to put in the effort to work, because things had always come so easily for him. Since I scrapped for every little thing most of my life, I truly understand that the best things in life, the most rewarding things–only come with true effort and a willingness to do the very best job you can.
I’ve never settled for miserable, and you shouldn’t either.
Do you know someone who is willing but not able, or able but not willing? I’d love to hear your stories!