You are jobless, so you wake up to start your job-seeking process; you are behind on rent, hungry, but you still have to visit several offices to drop off your resume – yet you do not have the fare nor fuel to reach there. So what do you do? You fall back into your bed, feeling stuck at the challenges stacked before you.
You are an aspiring athlete, looking for a college scholarship but there is a feeling that your current athleticism is not good enough. Heck, the possibility of a professional career even seems out of reach. What do you do? You release a heavy sigh of distress, before throwing yourself back into the Tik Tok rabbit hole of dance videos.
It could be a relationship that seems out of reach. Finding a partner that suits you. Or a business that you have been thinking about for a while, but you do not have even half the funds to start it.
How do you overcome all these odds? Just how?
A very wise man understood this conundrum and left us with the following answer:
“Your DETERMINATION to have the position you seek”Napoleon Hill
It all boils down to that. The DETERMINATION to have the position you seek.
Napoleon Hill was a wise man. He dedicated his life to studying and understanding the traits, behaviors and attitudes of people who attained success in their lives. All that knowledge resulted in the publishing of a book called “Think and Grow Rich”. Over the last five decades, Think and Grow Rich has become wildly successful by selling millions of copies and developing self-awareness in readers about their internal capabilities to achieve almost any goal they desire.
Napoleon Hill stated the following advice: Go after whatever you desire, with the determination that you will get it, and proceed to be amazed with what comes after.
There was a man that understood this, took it to heart, and demonstrated one of the most profound cases of determination seen by man. Reason being, he kept track of all his failures as he went after one of the most difficult goals a person could accomplish: inventing a light bulb.
Thomas Edison was a DETERMINED man. ‘Ten thousand attempts’ level of determination. It is not the failure that counts, it is the persistence that matters.
Now that you know this, you may feel more rejuvenated to go after your dreams. You might feel more optimistic to achieve the body shape of your dreams and endlessly tease Instagram followers with your photos.
Until you face the arch-rival of determination. The one that separates boys from men. Girls from women.
What is Temporary Defeat?
One of the amazing things about our reality is how much time we spend on planning an outcome. We envision and visualize a specific outcome for our plans, only for a completely unexpected scenario to manifest. We feel defeated. That overwhelming sensation that takes over your body when you experience failure, that is Temporary Defeat. Defeat is an emotional experience, when the mind feels it lacks the strength to continue with a battle it has lost. It is a sensation everyone can relate to.
But Defeat is temporary when you recognize that the feeling is an illusion. It is an illusion because it falsefully signifies permanent failure. Yet the truth of the matter is that your journey has not stopped. What you need is to recognize that ‘I am feeling defeated. But it is a reaction I am having to my plans failing to come into fruition. I just need the strength and determination to come up with new plans.’
That is it. When faced with failure, what we need is the determination to move forward, and work beyond temporary feelings that weigh us down.
HOW TO CULTIVATE DETERMINATION
We will look at the three steps of cultivating a determined spirit.
1. STRONG DESIRE
A 17-year-old was lying in his bed, his legs barely able to move. Sharp pain prodded on the swelling on his back, positioned at the bottom of his spine. He was suffering from a spinal issue that was still undiagnosed by the doctors, and several other health problems that seemed to be getting worse and worse. As he contemplated the direction of his future, little did he know he was going to spend 7 years bed-ridden, unable to move without a wheelchair or assistance, and he would never attend university.
That boy was me.
I spent 7 years in a wheelchair.
That experience required from me something that I could not afford at the time: unfathomable determination to walk again. As I watched my friends go through their lives, go to university and graduate with a degree, start new careers, post pictures of adventurous trips, play sports…all I could do was watch. Watch it all happen while my body disintegrated right before my eyes.
Until something happened. I developed a strong, insatiable, relentless desire to walk again. I dreamt about it. I visualized it. Prayed. Cursed. My mind turned and whirled around thinking of how I could achieve a seemingly impossible feat.
What did that do to me? It made me relentless. My actions stemmed from a deeper place. Failure was no longer important to me. That is what Strong Desire does to you. Every other desire you have comes secondary to it. Your mind becomes fixated, almost obsessed, with your chief aim. You stop counting your challenges or the problems standing before you.
Find out that thing that gives you sleepless nights and restless days. Good. That is your source of determination from now on. Use that as the reason for you to overcome any fearful thoughts or upcoming obstacles.
Next, channel your emotions.
2. CHANNEL YOUR EMOTIONS
Experiencing Temporary Defeat makes people bitter about life. When things around us are going on smoothly, and life seems good, anyone can feel determined to go after their dreams. If you are reading this, there is a probability your life is often more chaotic than gentle.
That is fuel.
I would sit down in my wheelchair, look at social media posts from friends who seemed to have their life together. The financial situation at home was getting worse and worse, my mother’s health was deteriorating too, and responsibilities fell upon me regardless of my physical situation. I had to support the bills, manage physical pain that never seemed to end and realize a possible conclusion – I may never get to walk for the rest of my life.
It first began as bitterness. A kind of bitterness that comes up on its own, followed with a strong sense of defeat. Does it all sound familiar to you?
I hope it does, because that is what molded me into a savage. Dark emotions are meant to be transmuted into action. I would perform the following self-talk:
“I don’t care about the outcome anymore. This is what I am facing. But I swear that I am going to grind like this world is about to end. Nothing, I mean nothing will stop me.”
Then I would proceed to try and lift myself off the bed. Fail.
I would lift myself again. Fail.
I used self-talk that is channeled from dark emotions, over and over, telling my psyche how I am ready to burn and set aflame the challenges in front of me. Note, I did not apply negative self-talk about how weak I am, disabled or tired. I used the emotional heat that anger generates, and poured that into action.
By doing it over and over, it became a habit. A determined habit.
3. FEED YOUR DETERMINATION
Fuel gets depleted from time to time, and the same goes for determination. It is a strong source of power, but remember, it gets shaped and reshaped by Temporary Defeat which can result in feeling drained. That is why you have to feed it.
How? By consuming content. Consume content rich in knowledge, motivation and inspiration. Reading books about people that have taken a path of determination strengthens your will power. Not only do you get motivated and inspired by their feats, but your mind retrieves bits of knowledge that shapes up your determined spirit. One of my personal favorite books is You Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. Goggins was a man who was deemed a failure based on society’s standards, and he was aware that he lacked the capacity to improve his life situation. But lo and behold, Goggins became an entrant to the World Guinness Book of Records, achieved paranormal mental and physical feats and is renowned as the Strongest Man Alive. All as a result of cultivating a DETERMINED mindset.
Digest motivational videos to empower your mind with the belief that all is possible. Start from there. Search for audiobooks on YouTube or any of your favorite social media platforms, sit back and absorb the content. Over time, start noting down important points from those videos and audiobooks, as a self-demonstration to your mind that you have committed to your dreams. You have to show commitment through action to finally embody a determined being.
It is the determination to have the position you seek, that really counts at the end of it all. As we have seen, begin by finding a strong desire. That thing that makes you lose sleep, turn it from a source of frustration to a choice of inspiration. Determination is a habit that comes from standing up after temporary defeat, over and over again. So put in the reps.
I believe in you.