Determination - Do You Have It?
Determination – Do you have it? How do you know? Well, first we need to understand what determination means in order to answer these questions. Accordingly, it is firmness of purpose, will or intent, strength of mind, willpower, resolve or fortitude. Sounds like something we should all have doesn’t it. But, in what? Ah – that is the real question isn’t it.
If we have true determination in our purpose or intent, then our mind rallies us to focus and stay the course no matter what difficulties come against us (what many call willpower). And, rest assured, difficulties will come, that is just part of life. However, it’s only when our intentions are pure that determination truly shows it’s self. What do I mean?
Well, take for example an ill intent. If determination is firmness of purpose, and difficulties arise, then usually we would not alter our course of action to suit the purpose but rather we will adjust to make room for the difficulty. With an ill intent, we find that actions arise outside of the purpose that attempt to remove the difficulty. Perhaps, it’s elimination of a rival through accusation, rough words or even, God forbid, physical harm, thereby pushing our purpose forward. This, however, is not the definition of determination; this is rather the definition of force and bullying.
True determination is actually a filter that purifies our purpose because as difficulties arise, if we assess ourselves and the situation we begin to see where our motives lie. If we are true to pure motives, determination becomes something that’s easy to do. I said easy to do but I didn’t say necessarily pleasant. Pure motives cause us to stand for what is right and resolve ourselves to what ever the situational consequences may be. Impure motives, when properly assessed and relinquished cause us to change and seek out reform or else we get back into positioning ourselves as described previously.
The greatest example of this is the crucifixion of Christ. Christ had true determination because His motive was pure: to help mankind. Difficulties arose in the fact that not everyone liked what He was preaching and they became determined to stop Him. He was willing to stand firm for his message and suffered the situational consequences in being crucified for His cause.
On the other hand, the accusers’ so called determination became evident in lies, bullying, beating and finally in the elimination of their opponent. In other words, this determination of theirs was not allowing for the self-evaluation process that difficulties bring (to them the message of Christ) and the situational consequences of lost followers of their own and lost income to themselves as a result. Instead, they resorted to forcing their will on others in the hardest measure possible.
Tell me who in the end won? Did those who accused Christ survive throughout the following ages in a positive light? Are all their names highlighted in history books or did they become the byline of some greater purpose? Did Christ’s determination pay off? Have people understood what He proclaimed, whether they liked it or not? My thought is that yes His lesson on determination has at least shown me what it truly means to live life with fortitude. I only hope that you too have found the resolve to live for what is right!