Characteristics of Successful People – Determination

people running with determination

Today I will give you my next installment in the Characteristics of Successful People series – Determination.

What is Determination?

By now those who have been following this series know what's coming next, a dictionary definition of determination, and if you guessed it, you're right, here it is:

“the quality of being resolute; firmness of purpose... a fixed purpose or intention.” – dictionary.com

Why Is It So Important?

Simply put, if you can't stick to your chosen course of action, if you quit or waver from it at the next challenge or shiny object, you will find yourself going nowhere at all.

That's one of the things that keeps so many from achieving their dreams, they just don't stick with it. When a shiny new object or course-of-action presents itself, many abandon their original course-of-action to pursue this new one, leaving a trail of unfinished projects in their wake. Others quit whenever they run into problems or setbacks. Rather then learn from them and persevere, they get defeated by them and quit, again leaving a trail of unfinished projects in their wake.

So look now at the stories of those who made it, who are successful, and you'll see stories of avoided distractions from new shiny objects, and stories of adversities overcome.

Here's an Example?

Let's look at two hockey players.

First, let's look at one of the most talented forwards to ever play the game, Mario Lemieux. What physical ailments didn't he have to battle through? Almost his entire career, he was plagued with severe back pain, and degenerative arthritis. Yet he not only played, but managed to almost go point for point with Wayne Gretzky, and by the 1990s was beating out Wayne Gretzky in scoring! Beating the most gifted scorer the game has ever seen!

Then one year he got cancer. Most would have quit at the bad back, let alone cancer. Many would have not only quit hockey, but died of that disease, but he didn't. He took a month or 2 off to recover, then he was right back there, and led the league in scoring that year, despite both an arthritic back and cancer.

For the other example, does anyone remember a hockey player by the name of Troy Gamble? I seriously doubt it. He played Goalie for the Vancouver Canucks back in 1990-1991. He got injured in his second year, after a very promising start to his career. He seemed to have lost his nerve after that and quit hockey a few years later, playing mostly in the minor leagues after that. A potentially great goaltender who never was because he quit.

What was the magic secret to Mario Lemieux's successes in hockey? Determination! He was determined not only to play the game he loves for a living, but be the best at it, and did it, no matter what diseases and physical barriers life tried to throw at him.

What was the reason Troy Gamble failed? Lack of determination. He quit at the first sign of adversity, at the first injury of his NHL career. So all the talent he had to stop pucks from getting into the net behind him went for nothing because he didn't use it.

What Does This Mean To Your Business?

Simply put, when you start something, finish it. If after finishing it, it didn't work, it didn't work, but at least you finished it and learned something valuable from it. On the other hand, if you just finished it, you might find it did work, and maybe worked very well, maybe it was your Mario Lemieux moment and because you saw it through, you made it to the top.

But if you quit every time something gets difficult, or change your course of action every time something new catches your interest, you will have lost out on any of those good outcomes. You will have missed your chance to learn, your chance to succeed, and your chance to flourish and prosper.

So, do you want to be a Mario Lemieux, or a Troy Gamble? Will you pick a niche and stick with it until you have learned it and got your system in that niche running, or will you quit/change niches so fast you never have a chance at success?

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