Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.
– Og Mandino
The world’s a funny place, but it’s what we have to work with. No one knows what tomorrow brings, and none of us can guarantee our life’s work will amount to anything. What drives us to continue trying? Why do we push against such an often overwhelming force? Determination is that unseen, shapeless force within every one of us which allows any human being on the planet to become something greater than happenstance could afford them. Determination is the deliberate application of self to a problem which would never solve itself. It’s that remarkable component of cognizance which separates us from the animal world.
But where does it come from?
I believe it is true to say that every person alive has some dream for their existence. As mentioned in my post on success, the actual goals and landmarks we seek after are as varied as the people alive, but each one of us hopes for something. Unfortunately, a good deal of people that I have met never reach their goals. I’ve had the privilege of working with many different people over the years which has allowed me a valuable opportunity to watch and learn. A consistent theme I’ve observed over twenty years in the workforce is that the better percentage of people wanted to be something they’ve yet to become. Many of them feel past the point of having any opportunity left and have resigned their fates as such.
So, determination, I say, is what makes the difference. You may want for all the world to be a CEO of a major corporation, but that life will never find you on its own. It is reasonably achievable for a person living in many parts of the world to eventually become the manager of a retail store, as an example. It’s much more likely, however, for a person to work as a cashier or a sales clerk for all their years. Don’t misunderstand me – there’s nothing wrong with a career in an entry level position. In fact, many people love the simplicity that comes from going to work and going home without the two overlapping. Loftier goals will always require a greater overlap of work and home. So I don’t mean to suggest that this sort of path is wrong or lazy. What I do mean to suggest, however, is that it is much easier to achieve and maintain a lower standard than it is a higher standard.
That sounds simple, doesn’t it? Of course achieving more is harder, right? Then why are so many of us seemingly ignorant to the sacrifice and hard work that is required to truly reach our goals? Why do so many of us seem to assume that great fortune will come to us of its own accord?
My message is to those that aspire higher still; those that wish to realize their fullest potential – even in an environment of hostility, negativity, or frequent failure. If we really want to aim above average, we must be prepared for the efforts that will require. It’s imperative that anyone with great ambitions be familiar with their own capacity to self-motivate even when surrounded by adversity. Learn to tap into your inner reserve – and, equally important, notice the things which charge your inner energy as well as those which drain it. If you mean to do great things, be prepared for all of the hardships while also maintaining focus on the eventual satisfaction.
Thank you for your time.