D is for Determination
We have spent the last few days talking about key thoughts and actions you can take to change your life. We have talked about attitude, believing in yourself, recognizing choices as different ways to improve your experiences and affect change in your everyday life.
The concepts all seem rather simple when you put them on paper. Putting them into practice however requires a great deal of determination. Determination, that is the hard part.
One of my favorite quotes about determination is from Vince Lombardi. “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”
There are several definitions of the word Determination. For today’s discussion I like the following:
- The act of coming to a decision or of fixing or settling a purpose
- A fixed purpose or intention
Let’s walk through some examples of determination. First, let’s take determination and attitude. Imagine you are focused on maintaining a positive attitude. A friend or coworker starts a conversation that involves a lot of complaining and is really negative. The friend is carrying the weight of the world. You have a choice here. You can join the pity party and complain along with your friend. Or you can maintain your determination to have a positive attitude.
Try to steer the conversation to the positive. If your friend doesn’t want to shift their attitude the best thing for you, might be to end the conversation. While you want to support your friend; you have a choice to protect your attitude and your thoughts with determination. You have make a choice to be determined and true to your goals for self improvement or get sucked in to someone else’s negativity.
Another example of determination relates to achieving a goal. I’ve mentioned before that I’m training to run a marathon in October. Preparation for that marathon includes: training (running, lifting weights) watching my diet and getting enough sleep. The alarm went off at 5am, the snooze button was really handy. I wanted to stay in bed but had a 6am training appointment to work on some of my problem areas. It would have been so easy to stay in bed. Determination dragged me out of bed and got me to that appointment. However, determination did falter/fail late in the day. Remember the diet part? My determination flew out the window. Two words – Potato Chips.
D is for Determination – Recommit
No matter what your goal, there will be things that test your determination or resolve. Obstacles that will get in the way. A missed assignment or appointment. A temptation like my potato chips. Sometimes you need a break or a treat, recognize that. Identify another way to complete the task or make up the work. In my case I could have gone to the gym at night. This didn’t happen because I know myself. If I hadn’t gone to the gym this morning, it wouldn’t happen. The chips, that I can correct. My dogs will get a 3 mile walk tonight to address those potato chips.
How do you stay focused and determined?