“Determination is doing what needs to be done even when you don’t feel like doing it.” - Anonymous
When was the last time you felt determined? Was it when you created your New Year's resolutions? Maybe it was while you were on a run. You might have found yourself saying, “I can’t stop until I get to that stop sign.” You might have felt determined to hike to the top of a local summit. Maybe you were determined to run in five 5k races one summer or to finish a marathon for your 50th birthday. So, you hired a trainer, joined a running club, and changed your diet.
Maybe you had a financial goal of paying off your car. So, you cut back on dining out, weekend getaways with your girlfriends, and regular trips to the nail salon. After six months, it felt great to submit your last payment and to become free of debt.
Determined to stop the pain, you might have decided to leave your abusive husband. Even though you tried six other times and you didn’t have much money, you found people you could trust to help you create an escape plan. Then, one day while he wasn’t home, you finally left with your children and one suitcase.
Determination is defined as “a positive emotional feeling that involves persevering towards a difficult goal in spite of obstacles.” The purpose of having determination is to motivate you to achieve your goal, especially when the going gets tough. At some point in your journey, you will face a struggle or obstacle in your path. The bigger the goals are, the bigger the obstacles usually are. But, every obstacle serves a purpose.
Obstacles teach you. They reveal the truth. Obstacles will teach you something about your goal, something about how to achieve it, and something about yourself. You will find out if the goal is right for you or if you need a different goal, one that's better suited to your needs. You will find out what you need to do to accomplish it and if you're willing to put in the work.
Obstacles test you. By testing you, they will reveal just how determined you are in achieving your goal. In other words, they will reveal how bad you want it. As they say, “To get something you’ve never had, you have to do things you’ve never done.” The answers lie in your attitude and actions.
If you're determined to achieve your goal, adopt a positive attitude and follow up with positive action steps. With a strong mentality, it’s only a matter of time before you succeed. You have to believe in your goal and your reasons for achieving it. You must also believe that you deserve and can achieve it. You will find out very quickly if you have the mental strength to achieve your goal because it will show in your actions.
Don’t let low self-esteem or lack of self-worth get in the way of living your best life. Being determined means having strong “self-powers.” Your self-powers include self-belief, self-worth, self-esteem, and self-confidence. Your self-powers are your best assets for pursuing your goals and dreams. Ultimately, they are the game-changers for achieving health, happiness, and success, as you define them for yourself.
Your combined self-powers justify and strengthen your determination. Determination is the mental fuel that drives you to success. It will keep you going and push you over the finish line even if you’ve lost the spring in your step along the way.
Obstacles build resilience. Nothing comes easy. If everything were so easy, you’d have crushed all of your goals by now. But everything takes work. But, if there’s something you’re serious about achieving, be willing to earn it. Anything worth having is worth the time, effort, and energy required to achieve it. So, be willing to work hard for what you want. The work ethic and the thick skin you develop in the process of pursuing your goals will build strong habits for tackling future endeavors and the struggles you might face then. In other words, the obstacles you face now will help prepare you for the strength you may need tomorrow.
Obstacles create gratitude. Obstacles are hurdles to jump over, like an athlete in a track and field event. They’re mountains to climb, like Mount Everest. And, they’re rivers to cross, like the rapids of the Colorado River. The bigger your obstacles are, the more determination and courage you’ll need to overcome them. But once you have jumped your hurdles, climbed your mountains, and crossed your rivers, the greater sense of accomplishment you will feel. No one can take that feeling away from you. You have earned it. Overcoming obstacles make you appreciate all the blood, sweat, and tears you invested in your journey. Achieving a goal despite the obstacles in your path becomes that much more rewarding. You have proven it can be done.
Appreciating your hard work will also help you better appreciate someone else’s efforts when they achieve their own goals. Gratitude should also foster compassion in another’s journey instead of jealousy or insecurity. After all, there is room for us all to achieve our goals in life.
So, what are you so determined to do or achieve? How bad do you want it? If it helps, focus on one goal at a time. Make a commitment to that goal. Then, give it all you’ve got. Don’t leave any rock unturned. Prove to yourself how bad you want it.
If there's an obstacle in your way, remind yourself why your goal is so important to you. Remind yourself that you deserve to achieve it. Then, tell yourself that you can achieve it.
No matter what obstacles lie in your path, my Pineapple, stay determined to keep going!
Live, Love, and Lead with Aloha!