"we Can We Just Have To Want To"A Hasidic story is told of the famous Rabbi Zusia, who spent his life focused on improving his personal character trait.
Once, when Rabbi Zusia and his brother had been traveling for many days without food or shelter and they were exhausted and famished, they lay down by the side of the road to rest for a short while, and Rabbi Zusia’s brother promptly fell asleep.
Rabbi Zusia noticed a wagon coming toward them. The wagon was filled with bales of hay. Every time the wagon reached a bump in the road, one of the bales would fall to the ground. The driver would stop his wagon, climb down, lift the heavy bale of hay, throw it back on top, and climb back onto the wagon.
As luck would have it, a bale of hay fell to the ground just when the wagon passed Rabbi Zusia. The wagon driver yelled, ‘Hey, you! Pick up the hay and throw it back on.” Rabbi Zusia, relating the incident some time later, said that at that moment he could barely imagine lifting himself up, let alone picking up the bale of hay. He called back, “I can’t. I’m too weak.” With that the wagon driver angrily retorted. ‘You can. You just don’t want to.”
Rabbi Zusia said that of all the ethical literature he had studied, this was the most profound ethical statement he had ever heard. For the rest of his life, whenever he imagined that something was too hard for him to accomplish, he remembered the words of the wagon driver: “You can, You just don’t want to.”
-- C. Friedman