June 5      

Today's quotation:

The longer I live, the more deeply am I convinced that that which makes the difference between one person and another--between the weak and the powerful, the great and the insignificant--is energy--invisible determination.

Charles Buxton

Today's Meditation:

It's really easy to give up on things.  It's easy to look at our situation and our efforts and say to ourselves, "Well, that's not working, and there's no way it's going to work."  When we do that, we feel that it's time to move on to another project, to work on something else, when sometimes the fact is that if we were to just persevere a few more hours or a few more days, we would find that breakthrough that we need to get our current efforts to pay off in something wonderful.

If we adopt determination as a policy for our own lives, we can do things that otherwise seem impossible.  If we don't give up as soon as things start looking bleak or impossible, we can accomplish things that others never will.  Because the fact is that most people give up rather easily-- and it's not a good idea for us to be like other people all the time.  If we're truly determined to do something that's important to us, then we need to stick it out and continue to give it our best efforts.  After all, we'll never know just what will happen if we don't.

It's true that there are times when determination isn't the best option.  Some relationships aren't meant to be, and we could cross some very drastic lines if we keep trying to get someone else to love us or like us.  Some things really can't be done, no matter how much we try, or have very little value even if we do succeed with them.  Some things that we want to do take away too much time and energy from the things that we need to do, and those things will harm us more than help us, even if we do succeed at them.  So of course, we need to be able to discern between the things that are worth pushing on with and those that aren't if our determination is going to be a positive force in our lives.

After all, is it truly success if our determination helps us to achieve success at work if our marriage and family are falling apart due to neglect?

Determination can be the deciding factor between success and failure, between accomplishment and emptiness.  While sometimes it's important for us to let go of things and not spend too much time and effort on something that won't help us, other times it's important for us to push on through obstacles and disappointment and discouragement in order to reach success.  Our determination can be our greatest asset in these cases, and we need to do our best to make sure that we use it to the greatest of its potential.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of efforts in your life have required great determination?  Have they been worth it?

Why is it so easy for us to give up on certain things so easily?

How might you go about "practicing" determination?  What steps would be necessary?

For further thought:

There is in this world no such force as the force of a person determined to rise.  The human soul cannot be permanently chained.

W.E.B. Du Bois

more on determination



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