I Believe in Determination

Kathryn - Raleigh, North Carolina
Entered on February 16, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
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I Believe in Determination

I believe in determination, specifically, determination to affect positive change in a situation or in myself. For all of my life, I’ve been influenced by, inspired by and moved by acts of determination in the world around me. Determination produces actions that in turn can fuel the possibility of hope.

I have learned that although acts of determination by others are inspiring, personalizing the lesson and exercising determination in my own life often requires humility. My own exercises in determination are only effective when I am willing to be completely honest with myself about my own weaknesses and hypocrisies while at the same time not allowing the acknowledgement of them to be an excuse or to render me helpless. It is only when I accept these things and then take the next step to action that I enable myself to achieve a new level of accomplishment, contentment, or self-satisfaction.

My foundational inspiration came from the determination of a woman who found herself alone with her 9 month old daughter on Christmas Eve. She was alone because her alcoholic husband had gone out for a cigarette the day before and never come back. She invoked within herself the power of determination to make a change at that moment, from that point forward she determined that she would leave her husband and independently make a better life for herself and her daughter. I know this particular woman’s determination paid off, because I was that 9 month old.

This woman, my mother, never wavered in her determination to make that life for us. Through her acts and unconditional love for me, she planted in me this belief that empowers me everyday of my life even in tough times. She helped me develop and value independence, to be open-minded, to actively engage in the pursuit of knowledge, to appreciate the beauty of the natural world, and to not forget that it is better to try and fail than to have never tried at all. She showed me that by being determined and never giving up my life and the lives of those around me could be improved, even if a little.

Like most, I have faced some very challenging times and situations in my life in which I began to lose hope. The despair never lasts for too long however, because I go back to this belief. I have the power to positively change the course of my life by acting with determination. Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” What a beautiful, simple, and powerful way to express what is possible with determination.

I believe in determination. The resulting actions give me energy and hope for all things of importance to me. I know that I can and I must, even in the darkest of times, reach down deep in the fabric of what makes me who I am and determine a different way, a new approach, or a more suitable path to a better me.

Thanks mom. I miss you.