where there's a will there's a way -chineseCharacters: 有志竟成, Style: Standard Script (楷书kǎishū)

The second dynasty in Chinese history was divided between Western or Former Han (206 B.C.–9 A.D.) and the Eastern or Later Han (25–220 A.D.).  During Western Han, a scholar named Gengyan 耿弇 took an interest in the military.  When he heard that General Liuxiu 劉秀 (漢光武)(who later Emperor Gwangwudi of Eastern Han)was drafting, Gengyan eagerly signed up for the army.  He fought valiantly and rose up the ranks.

One of General Liuxiu’s main enemies was General Changbu (張步), who had a large army.  Gengyan was tasked to fight him, and General Changbu strategically placed troops among his strongholds.  However in a single afternoon, several towns fell, so General Changbu came personally.

During battle Gengyan 耿弇 took an arrow in the leg and was bleeding profusely, but he kept persevering.  General Liuxiu 劉秀 heard that General Changbu 張步 was now personally defending the charge, he decided to join his troops as well.

Upon hearing that news, Gengyan’s underlings thought they could rest for a bit while they waited for supporting troops.  Gengyan responded:  “We should be preparing for a victory feast.   Why would we wait for our general to come clean up our mess for us?”  So they kept fighting and in the end defeated General Changbu soundly.

General Liuxiu 劉秀 said to Gengyan, This reminds me of the critical battle where General Hanxin 韓信  took down the city of Lixia 歷下,giving the emperor of eastern Han (Hanwudi) a base to win the dynasty.  Now, you’ve helped me, the foundation has been set.   Our work in winning back the dynasty can be completed (天下大事可成)。  Where there’s a will there’s a way (有志者事竟成).

有志者事竟成, 天下無難事只怕有心人 – means where there’s a will there’s a way, and with perseverance and commitment there are no strictly difficult things. The idiom has been shortened to  有志竟成 , encouraging goal setting and persistence.