Where There is a Will There is a Way – Proverb Meaning and Expansion of idea


The proverb ‘where there is a will there is a way’ states that if one really wants to achieve something then he/she will keep on getting ways to it and will be successful in the end. If you are desperately willing and effort assertively towards something then you will overcome all difficulties and succeed in the end.

The proverb establishes a direct connection between how willing you are towards achieving a set goal and the path to achieve it. The stronger you will, you will keep on finding ways that lead to it.

Expansion of idea

‘Will’ in the proverb refer to the determination that one displays in moving towards a set goal. If a person is determined enough to achieve an objective, then there is no way that he couldn’t succeed. In other words, if you have sufficient determination then nothing is impossible.

The proverb conveys the message that you should not fear failure but rather give your 100% to whatever you do. If you are confident and determined, you will keep on moving on the path of achievement until you succeed.

Short Stories on ‘Where there is a Will there is a Way’

A story is the best way to understand the true meaning of the proverb ‘where there is a will, there’s a way’ and the morale behind it. I am giving below, a couple of stories based on the proverb for your knowledge. One of the stories has been taken from real-life incidents of some famous people.

Short Story 1

J.K. Rowling, the author of the world’s best selling wizard novel, the Harry Potter series, was in her own words, a complete failure. A single mother suffering from depression she had never thought of making it this big.

Fortunately, she didn’t had any plan 2 and did what she thought was the only thing she can. She spends hundreds of hours in a coffee shop, scribbling down her idea of a wizard story.

The manuscript of her book was initially rejected by a dozen publishers in 1995, but a year later, due to Rowling’s persistence and determination, the book was finally published.

Today, the net worth of J.K. Rowling stands around 1.2 billion dollars. Her story is a true rag to riches story and a perfect example for the proverb ‘where there is a will, there is a way.”

Short Story 2

Once there lived an average student who would just manage to pass in every exam. But despite his average grades, he had always wanted to become a doctor. His friends would laugh at his aspiration saying that only good students can become doctor. Though he felt bad, but he never complained and took every criticism in good spirit.

Days passed by followed by years, but he just couldn’t get his mind off his aspiration of becoming a doctor. It so happened that during a TV show he heard a teacher saying – where there is a will, there is a way’. He found that proverb wonderfully inspiring and also the one he could relate his own life with.

That day the boy realized that he has the will to become a doctor, but he needed to be a little more assertive and put in more effort. He started studying day and night as if being a doctor was his only desire and there was no plan B.

Finally, his hard work and unflinching determination paid off and he became a doctor. Indeed “Where there is a will there is a way”.


Below given are some examples based on the proverb ‘Where there is a will there is a way’. A good example will hopefully make you understand the true morale behind the proverb.

“The perfect example of where there is a will there is a way is an ant that desperately tries, again and again, to scale a wall until it finally succeeds.”

“Small little bird’s chicks, desperately flutter their wings in a bid to fly. They fall a hundred times but never give up until they fly to the sky.”

“Dashrath Manjhi, the mountain man of India, had carved a 110 m long path through hills, single-handedly, using just a hammer and chisel. This act by Manjhi is a perfect example of where there is a will there is a way.”

“Michael Jordan, the great basketball player of all times was once rejected by a coach for not being tall enough. Michael went back home, cried his heart out, but never gave up. Rest is history.”

“Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States was once bankrupt, failed businessman, failed lover, underwent depression, but despite all the odds, he had a strong will to succeed and was elected the President of United States.”


The documented evidence of the phrase ‘where there is a will there is a way’ dates back to the 1600s. A phrase similar to the one in the discussion was first written by a Welsh-born poet and orator, named George Herbert.

In one of his books titled Jacula Prudentusm Herbert wrote – “To him that will, ways are not wanting.” Sometime during the early 19th century, the phrase got altered into – “Where there is a will, there is a way.”

Since then the phrase is in popular use by poets, administrators, politicians, and common people across the world.


The proverb ‘where there is a will, there’s a way’ is an inspirational phrase. It inspires us to follow our dreams with determination and not fear the hindrances. If we really have that desire to succeed then we will definitely succeed one day.

It is a proverb that could inspire people from different walks of life -Students, professionals, or even poor who dream of making it rich someday. Anyone can get inspired by this simple proverb and keep on moving towards the goal.

The proverb becomes most important when one gets depressed and the fear of failure seeps in. In that case, the proverb is like a blessing in disguise that inspires you to take guard once again and move on the path of your dreams with determination.