Decisive moments occur in every life at some point. You know when they arrive. They are those times you make your mind up to do something important.
These moments of decision come when you choose to get an education, a job, become a manager, write a book, run a marathon, get married, and a thousand other things. Can you imagine a world without such moments? Heaven forbid!
All of us have those times when we can’t make up our mind, but we know it when a moment of decision comes. What happens after such a moment to take us down the road of success or failure? While the answer is simple, it is not so obvious. If you want to know an absolute way to succeed every time in life, keep reading.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison
The secret to all success
While there are countless ways to define success, it is up to you to develop your own definition of what it means. Regardless of what your view is, two qualities/traits/characteristics will determine whether you are successful or not. These qualities are part of the ultimate formula for success. They are dependent on one another for any achievement in life worth accomplishing.
Because of these two qualities, wars are won or lost, human civilization advances, men land on the moon, and we push our limits beyond what is thought possible.
The two qualities are determination and perseverance. The impact of these characteristics, or the lack of them, determines the outcome of every personal achievement in life. If you understand them and have them, you will not fail. If you lack either of them, you will not start or will fail in the process.
Let’s take a closer look at these qualities and what they can mean to our life.
Determination and Perseverance
While the two words are related, they have distinct meanings. You can think of determination as being in your mind and perseverance in your actions. When you are determined, you make your mind up; when you persevere, you see it through no matter what obstacles are in your path.
Determination gets you started; perseverance gets you through.
Think about how these traits apply to your life. Were you determined to go to school and persevered to get that degree? Were you determined to get a good job and persevered to climb the ladder? Were you determined to make your marriage work and persevered to make sure it does?
“No one succeeds without effort... Those who succeed owe their success to perseverance.” Ramana Maharshi
Without determination, you would rarely get started on anything significant in life. Imagine you want to cross the English Channel in a rowboat. If that was your goal, you must get ready for the challenge of at least 21 miles of rowing in potentially dangerous water.
Without the determination to make it happen, you would never get started. With the determination to make it happen, you will find a way to get a boat that can make the trip. This determination will also help you prepare to make the voyage. All that is left is to do it, which is where perseverance comes in.
“Perseverance, secret of all triumphs.” Victor Hugo
As you enter the boat, facing the task at hand, you know you need more than determination to cross the channel. It will be an arduous and challenging journey. What you need now is perseverance. If you are to make it across, you must persevere, no matter how difficult it becomes. Regardless of what happens on the water, you know you cannot give up. You must persevere.
Using this illustration, an easy way to sum up the difference between determination and perseverance is: it takes determination to get the boat and prepare and perseverance to get to the other side.
As stated earlier, determination and perseverance are related. You can view them as siblings or brothers if you will. Determination is the brainy brother, and perseverance is the brawny one.
“It is not enough to begin; continuance is necessary. Mere enrollment will not make one a scholar; the pupil must continue in the school through the long course, until he masters every branch. Success depends upon staying power. The reason for failure in most cases is lack of perseverance.” J. R. Miller
Creating success in your life
How can you use determination and perseverance to accomplish what you want? Let me break it down for you as simply as possible:
Make up your mind and do it!
Make up your mind and make it your intention to achieve whatever it is. When you intend to do something, develop an unwavering determination to begin. With this firm decision made, all that is left is to do it with steadfast perseverance. This perseverance will push through, go around, go over, or go under anything that gets in the way. Nothing will stop you from accomplishing what you want.
Determination makes it real; perseverance makes it reality.
You can start on the road to achievement by following these three steps:
- Clearly know what you want (the outcome you need)
- Commit and intend to make it happen (determination)
- Take action to do it regardless of what comes against you or what you must overcome (perseverance.)
When you can answer each of the following questions firmly, you know you are ready. If you stall on any of them, watch out!
- What do I want badly in life? Name it now.
- How determined am I to make it happen?
- Do I want it so badly I will do what it takes to accomplish it?
- Am I willing to keep going if things don’t go my way?
- What is my first step, and the step after that?
- Am I sure I have what it takes not to give up or give in, no matter what obstacles are thrown my way?
- What other steps do I need to take?
If you take the time to plan your course of action, you will save an enormous amount of time and headaches. Why not begin planning now?
“The key to success is action, and the essential in action is perseverance.” Sun Yat-sen
Now that you understand how determination and perseverance work together, you have the key to success in anything you wish to accomplish in life. All you need beyond a clear outcome is the determination to make it happen and the unwavering desire to persevere to see it through!
If you have read this article from beginning to end, I have little doubt that you have what it takes to achieve whatever you want in life. Remember, all you have to do is “make up your mind and do it!”