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it made me smile to myself when i read your post. first you talked of will and then about the spur of destiny. the reason i was smiling was that in my life, willpower helped me do whatever it was, despite what appeared 'to be destined' for me! willpower helped to sort snatch back control and agency for my life.

my mother used to keep telling me it was pointless to keep banging my head against metaphoric brick walls. i always never got that way of thinking: to me, if you keep banging your head, the wall will yield to your sheer bloodymindedness or will at least weaken so the next person who comes a-banging will succeed.

when i think of my past, it was sheer bloodymindedness that helped me surface from depressions, get into HIV counselling, go chasing after ideals, and live my politics. these each happened at different ages, where the only common denominator was that there was a lot of social opposition to what i wanted to do or how i wanted to do it. the willpower i drew on helped to keep at very difficult things, and to support the fire inside that drove me to do these things. i've found that my intensity cannot really thrive without my bloodymindedness. it's a being possessed by the need to do something because of this absolute conviction, the strength of which means social approval, conventions, and stuff like them, don't matter a damn.

ETA: but i've been wondering of late if willpower hasn't been associating more with patience than conviction as i grow older. i seem to be using my bloodymindedness more to withstand stuff than to assert stuff these last few years.
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