Determination Can Change You

Bill Abbate

Are you one of those people who will stop at nothing to get what you want, moving mountains if that’s what it takes? The proverbial bull in a china shop!

Or are you the more subtle type who will do what is needed yet is still determined to succeed?

Determination is crucial to achieving what you want. Read on to learn more about this important trait.

How determined are you?

Determination is a powerful word, and those who have it are often powerful in their own way. While some people have little passion, desire, or drive to achieve much, most can be resolute if they want something bad enough. Yet their ability to achieve diminishes if they are unclear about what they are after or have too many competing goals. When they accomplish something, it does not satisfy in the same way as it does for those who single-mindedly strive for grander achievements.

“Most people fail because they do not have determination and perseverance. Extraordinary people are determined and persevere. That is what makes them extraordinary.” Catherine Pulsifer (1957-present)

The meaning of being determined

Let’s gain a better understanding of what it means to be determined. Its definition is:

determined (adjective) — having made a firm decision and being resolved not to change it — processing or displaying resolve. Oxford Languages

To understand a word in more depth, it helps to look at its synonyms and antonyms.

  • Synonyms for determined include decisive, dogged, resolute, serious, single-minded, steadfast, stubborn, and tenacious.
  • Antonyms (opposites) include: weak, yielding, changeable, flexible, indefinite, soft, undecided, hesitating, and wavering

The determined mindset

Those who are determined have a different mindset than the average person. They go after what they want and see it through to completion. They have the mindset of persistence, of those who don’t give up and don’t give in. They stay the course regardless of circumstances and obstacles. Their desire is so strong they become passionate about pursuing what they want.

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal — a commitment to excellence — that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” Mario Andretti (1942-present)

The average person has difficulty developing such a mindset because their desire is too weak to drive them forward with determination. They can be distracted by too many goals, dividing their time and not staying focused on the one outcome that will make a difference.

You will see each of these mindsets often. The first is the mindset of determination (a.k.a. the determined mindset). The second is the undetermined mindset.

“It is your determination and persistence that will make you a successful person.” Kenneth J Hutchins (1941-present)

In the mindset of determination, the person is persistent, decisive, and committed. They have a great deal of courage and a certain amount of stubbornness. They stick with it when the ordinary person gives up. But then, they are not ordinary! These brave souls get things done, achieve more, and help build a better life for the rest of us.

“Courage is the foundation of determination. Determination and courage are the cornerstones of success.” M. K. Soni (1950-present)

The undetermined mindset does not possess an overarching primary desire or goal. In fact, they either have no goals or get distracted by having too many. Some will build foundations all over town yet never see one through to completion.

Being determined is the difference between the successful and the unsuccessful, the can-do’s and the wanna-do’s.

“Replace the words, If Only, with, I Will.” Catherine Pulsifer (1957-present)

Developing a determined mindset

Let’s look at the determined mindset by using an agricultural analogy. In this analogy, everyone has an equal-sized field to grow anything they desire, providing them with enough income to live on for the year. Each has access to the same equipment, seeds, fertilizer, weather, and every tool needed to work the land. The only difference is the individual’s decisions about what they do with it.

They are in a free enterprise market where they can grow as much or as little variety as they wish. This equality allows them to achieve an optimum yield from their land that can be sold or traded.

One approach is to try to grow several things in the field. Each additional type of seed planted requires more effort, different amounts of water, and fertilizer. The various plants each have their own need for care, with varying growth rates and harvest times.

Because of these variables, the cultivation, planting, fertilizing, watering, care, and harvesting add far more complexity with less of any one thing that can be sold or traded. The chance you can develop a passion for your work diminishes (unless you are a gardener at heart) since you are so busy, and your attention is divided.

A second approach is to plant a single type of seed throughout the field. It will produce a crop you know will be in demand, commanding a fair price or allowing a good trade. This approach dramatically simplifies the process, reducing overall effort while increasing the yield and likelihood of success. You can develop a greater passion for success, wisely using your time and energy by focusing on one thing.

Life is like this analogy. When you choose one seed (thing) to plant and tend (work on), you produce more with the same amount of land, time, and life.

By working on your one thing, you reap a greater harvest. That one thing you are determined to achieve helps you focus your time and energy, further enhancing your passion for success.

“I ran and ran and ran every day, and I acquired this sense of determination, this sense of spirit that I would never, never give up, no matter what else happened.” Wilma Rudolph (1940–1999)

Is it becoming clear? Let’s lay out the process for building determination.

  1. Become clear about the one thing you want to increase your chance of success exponentially.
  2. Develop a keen interest in developing your underlying passion, further fueling your determination to achieve your goal.
  3. Build your determination to do and succeed with this one thing by being intentional, further strengthing your passion and determination.

These steps will create a chain reaction. You will do anything, find a way, go over, under, around, or through any obstacle to achieve what you desire. Failure is not an option when you have this kind of commitment and determination. You will not stop short of completion, and success is imminent!

“The great leaders of the past also shared one amazing trait, the incredible power of determination. When others had failed, others had missed opportunities; they had the drive, the resolve, the thirst to make change to their existence.” Sonny Kalar (1942-present)

Final thoughts

With passion, you will commit, leading to determination, and stick with it to achieve what you want.

To shift from the undetermined mindset to the determined mindset, find one thing you can become passionate about accomplishing. When you find it, determine what you want, and you will start on the road to success. As you develop greater interest and fuel your passion, you will naturally create the commitment required to produce an unwavering mindset of determination. Can it be that straightforward? Yes!

“If you are determined to live your best life, given your current circumstances, your life can be more fulfilling and purposeful than you ever thought possible. Be Determined. Be intentional.” Mark K. Fry, Sr. (1963-present)

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA

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