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The Determination Factor

November 28, 2014 by  
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Last week I examined the word determination and talked about how critically important and life changing determination can be in anyone’s life. It really is a huge key in the lives of successful people in virtually every human endeavor. The definition of determination is “the quality of being resolute; a fixed purpose or intention.”  If you want to hear about having a fixed purpose beyond, or at least equal to, anything I’ve ever heard about, then you need to hear the story of Joe Simpson. If you and I can muster just a fraction of his determination as we set any goal for our lives then I am confident that we could each reach our goals.

You may have read the story about Joe Simpson in his book Touching the Void or saw the movie documentary by the same name. But even if you already know the story it is so very worth hearing it again, because there is so much we can learn and profit from his story of determination.  I will have to say that it would be tough to really have as much determination as Joe had because his life was on the line, but I do believe that it’s possible to push one’s thinking to the point that we see that our life, at least part of it, really is on the line.

Joe Simpson was hiking and climbing with his buddy Simon Yates in the frozen mountains of Peru when disaster struck. Joe slipped and fell and slid down the icy glacier. Simon dug into the ice and snow as deep as he could and held onto the rope that tethered them together. But eventually he began to be pulled toward the edge and at the last minute he was forced to cut the rope that held his friend. Joe fell a very long way and ended up in deep crevasse. Simon was certain that Joe was dead and made his way back to camp feeling absolutely devastated.

But Joe didn’t die. With a compound fracture in his leg, his shin bone shoved up into his kneecap, and knowing his life was all but over he still became determined not to die. He stumbled, hopped, and crawled for days to get himself down off a 3000 foot glacier covering more than 8 miles in freezing conditions without water or food. His true stroke of genius was the numerous 20 minute goals he set to help his brain deal with the huge distance he knew he had to travel. He would spot a rock or block of ice a hundred meters or so in the distance and crawled or hopped toward it while keeping track of the time.  Joe Simpson’s great, or I should say HUGE, determination factor and his simple plan saved his life.

You and I need to remember this story and try to implement that kind of determination when we set goals for ourselves. Even though our lives might not literally depend on those goals, how our lives are and what they will be do depend on reaching our goals. There is so much more to Joe’s story and how to use determination to reach even the most impossible seeming goal in Chapter 6 of my book How to Ignite Your Passion for Living.

 

Speaking of Determination

November 21, 2014 by  
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I just happened to pick up a little book today and it opened to a page that had this quote “some people succeed because they are destined to, but most people succeed because they are determined.” That was Elmer Towns Minute Motivators for Leaders by Stan Toler.  Great quote, a great truth and a great thing to think and about and do something about. Determination–what a great word and a great human attribute. That’s if you use it.

When I think about my own successes, whether they have been in my tennis tournaments and matches, or attaining great health or great wealth, I can clearly see the greatest common denominator for each one of my successes has been this great thing called determination.

But how does one boost or improve his or her level of determination? Researchers in human behavior studies have observed that most people can get a BIG BOOST in their own determination abilities and in their own self-control just by merely reading about or observing in other people’s examples; people who have expended a great amount of self-control or determination in various parts of their lives.  Just to know of those studies should motivate us to hang out with the kind of people that exert large amount of determination or at least we should seek out and read stories of people that use a ton of self-control and determination.

Personally I never seem to tire of observing and or reading those kinds of stories. They truly drove me to success, especially when I was in my 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. When I was younger it motivated me in sports. Later on it was all about making more money and, wow, did those people that I hung out with and the stories or others who made millions and billions push me to do more and more, and bigger and bigger.

Now at my age the people and the stories in the health and fitness department motivate me to stay the course of great health and try to do even better every day.  These stories lift me up and inspire me and even seem to give me more and more energy to do more with my life and do more to help other people with their lives.  If you really want to push and motivate yourself to levels beyond what you ever thought possible, try changing your thinking and convince yourself that your life is on the line, because in some ways our lives are on the line regardless of what we set out to do.  I’ll talk more about that next week. In the meantime, seek out stories and people who are all about determination and see if that doesn’t get you motivated to do more.

Making 2012 Your Year of Change

January 6, 2012 by  
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2011 is being called the Year of the Protestor. From the uprising in Tunisia in January that ignited the courage of others in nearby countries for months afterwards to the Moscow rallies in the last weeks of the year, the common people rose up to protest injustice and oppression and forced people to hear them and to change. It was inspiring to see what people could accomplish when they stood up and rallied against the powers that be but it was also sad to hear of the violence and pain that had to be endured to enact the changes the protestors were after. But change did come in many countries simply because so many people persisted even when it was terribly difficult and even when it was life threatening. They were unshakably dedicated to their purpose and that made all the difference.

I wish the protests did not have to include the violence and pain and I hope that things will soon settle down with peace and freedom for these people that have suffered for so long. But pain or discomfort or just frustrating moments usually accompany change and is the reason why people commonly shy from fighting for it.

We are very lucky here that what we have to fight for are not basic freedoms or a life without constant fear of pain or death. We have our hard times, but the choices we have are, for the most part, within our grasp and what we have to work through is not so hard compared with what people in so many countries we watched this past year went through.

How about making 2012 a year of real change here, in our own lives? Let’s choose to take on the challenges that will make a better life for ourselves, our family, our friends and everyone we work with. All we need to do is keep focused on our goals, those end results, that will make our lives so much richer. And if it gets tough, just think of those people who rose up against their oppressive governments and what must have stuck in their mind to keep them so determined. You can be so determined too. Just keep your eye on the prize and keep in mind what the change will mean for your life.