The will to conquer is the first condition of victory. Marshal Ferdinand Foch
Success tastes sweeter when it is obtained by overcoming near impossible odds, but if one has to overcome those odds, it is not mere ability but determination that ensures a dogged pursual of the goal. While we are quick to applaud success we fail to give the due recognition to the sheer will, tenacity and focus that have been chiefly instrumental in attaining the goal. While talent would make the performance look simple, it will never guarantee success; and talent without any conditioning by way of hard work and appropriate technique would be as good as a rough diamond, valuable but not priceless.
To begin anything new, there must be a lot of ideating and planning involved. In this process a lot of tough realities come to the fore. Unless one has the heart and determination to take on these challenges and overcome it, in all probability our efforts would be short lived and the results disappointing. Any first time entrepreneur will vouch for the fact that while the business plan may look rosy, once in business the reality would surprise, shock and occasional devastate a person who lacks the determination to pursue his/ her dreams. Take the case of slow and bumbling bureaucracy; it can drive a person nuts but it is the few individuals with determination to take on the system who tackle the problem and show the rest the way.
Determination is not mere tenacity. Tenacity is more passive because it presupposes success if we hang in there long enough. Determination on the other hand creates conditions for success even if there are new odds coming in at every stage. When one is determined the approach is solution centric and this ensures that no problem becomes an impediment or hindrance for attaining the goal set. While determination may not necessarily mean success always, it definitely sets the tone for a long term success plan. Look at the rise of countries like Japan and Germany which were in shambles after the world war. By sheer determination based on nationalistic pride and personal ethos, they clawed back to become economic power horses.
This brings us to the key ingredient that makes a person determined. It is a value system and self belief. If one of these is missing a person will not be positively determined. A person with no values can be determined because he / she is propelled by self belief but the goals could almost always be selfish, self centered and anti social. Pickpockets, pretty thieves and burglars even if they are caught often get back to their wayward ways when released after a prison sentence. They are determined to prove themselves, determined to outwit the law and determined not to get caught. Obviously with no self belief no one can ever hope to have determination as a virtue. In the final analysis only when one is determined can he/ she eat an elephant slice by slice!
Remember: “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” Og Mandino
- Outline 3 of your bad habits that you are constantly criticized for. Now make a determined effort to over come it. The key lies in consciously making an effort for a month at least to kick the habit.
- To understand how important a value system is assume for a moment that you are planning surprise birthday party for your best friend. Unfortunately a week before that you fall down and fracture your leg and are home bound. How will you ensure that you can still organize a fabulous party even though you are house bound?
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