Determination is what separates those who are in it for the long run and those who will burn out quickly. It’s made up of two things: firmness of choice and action over time.
Action is what differentiates determination from grit. Grit is the what; determination is the how. Determination says: “I am going to do this NOW. I’m going to make the extra call. I’m going to put in the extra reps. I’m going to mention this to my business coach.”
In an era where we have so much competing for our attention (and any number of opportunities to take the easy way out through a TV binge, social media time-kill or a strong drink), determination is harder than ever to cultivate.
What makes the difference is understanding how to make staying the course psychologically easier so that you reach for the TV remote less often and choose productive action often enough to move the needle in your life.
Tap into past wins.
I’ve discovered over the years that when I’ve been on the brink of giving up, I then received an email, text, post or comment from someone who was impacted by my work.
If you’re struggling with determination, remember a past win—how you succeeded or helped someone in the past—and use that to propel you forward.
Play to your strengths.
Having firm resolve requires a lot of energy, and you’ll keep your momentum high if you play to your strengths. What do you do really well, and what are your weaknesses?
If you played two sports, and you had to choose which one to go pro in, would you choose the sport you’re naturally very talented in and build off of that? Or would you choose the sport that you’re OK at and that requires much more training? It’s a no-brainer. You’d choose the sport you’re naturally great at because you know you’ll get further, faster.
The same is true in business. If you spend all of your time weakness-fixing, you’ll lose determination pretty quickly. When you’re moving toward a goal, take on the things you’re really strong at, and collaborate in areas where you’re weak.
Celebrate small wins.
Oftentimes, we get so into the work that we forget to reflect and celebrate it. Don’t skip this step, because it’s what gives you the energy to keep going. Small wins, over time, create bigger opportunities.
By tapping into past wins, playing to your strengths and celebrating small wins, you will get much more joy out of the actions you take over time. Before you know it, you will have accomplished more than you could ever dream of.