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Determination

 

Techniques Willpower > Doing > Determination

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

In many long and difficult tasks there are low points during which you may feel you want to give up. It may be taking longer than you thought. You may face what seem to be insurmountable obstacles. Others may be actively obstructing your progress.

Determination is using your willpower to get what you want, persisting always through difficult or tedious times, no matter how long it takes or how tiring it gets.

First, pick those things about which you will be doggedly determined. Before you start, think about what you have to do and what you really need to do. Select those things that will require determination, for example because they are difficult, will take a long time or be unpopular.

Clarify what exactly you want to achieve and how you will know when you have achieved it. Also plan for the actions you will have to take.

If you think you are not determined, think about times when you did persist. Remember the feeling and the motivation and bring it into the present.

Before you start, make a private promise to yourself that you will always be determined about this. Also make a public commitment about completion, promising that you will never give up. Look for people who will support you and encourage you during this time.

During the work, make sure you always have enough energy to stay determined. Eat properly and get enough sleep. Take breaks. Relax, recuperate and continue with new energy.

Beware of things slipping and of procrastination. When you are flagging and feeling like giving in, boost your determination.

  • Remind yourself of why you really have to complete the work.
  • Think about the time you have already spent and tell yourself how that must not be wasted by giving in.
  • Get some sleep or take a break. Recharge the batteries.
  • Remember your integrity, and how this may be damaged if others know you gave up.
  • Consider what others may think or say about you.
  • Think about how proud you will be to have finished the work.
  • Argue logically with yourself, giving good reason to continue.
  • Use objection-handling on you arguments to give up.
  • Just command yourself to do what must be done.

Example

A young woman is going to college and knows they she have to be determined in order to get a good degree. She tells her parents and friends that she is going to graduate within the top ten of her class, which she believes is possible if she works hard. They she plans carefully and hands in all work on time, while doorstepping lecturers to ensure she gets the attention she needs. She also manages her recreation time, enjoying life as a student yet always working hard.

Discussion

We all have an inner voice that can both encourage us and discourage us. What is says to us can be related to both our histories and our personality. An optimistic person with a history of success will be more likely to hear internal encouragement than a person with a problematic past and who tends to be pessimistic.

This does not mean the pessimistic person is doomed to failure and has little determination, but it does indicate that they will likely find it harder to be determined. Negative life events can make people more determined as they have perhaps been forced to fight for what they have.

See also

Optimism and Pessimism, Risk Bias

 

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