Determination and Its Power to Change You

A businesswoman showing determination and pride.

Determination is a powerful tool for change when utilized to its full potential. (Image: AYAimages via Dreamstime)

Determination is among those things that can transform your life forever. It’s a powerful tool for change when utilized to its full potential. The key to using determination to change your life is understanding where determination should be used and how to use it to its fullest potential. Maybe you’re not happy where you are. If you want to see yourself in a different place, at a different level, or as a different person, then find out how determination can change your life forever.

Life is not a linear slope. It has ups and downs, some small and some large. The key to success is progress; despite your ups and downs, your trajectory should be moving upwards. If you lack determination and want to change your life, this article is for you.

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What is determination?

Before everything else, it’s essential to understand what determination is and why it is so important. Determination, as explained by Oxford, is “firmness of purpose.”

This means that to have determination, one must have a purpose and strongly believe in it. This can be tricky since some people go their whole lives searching for their purpose.

Some people go their whole lives searching for their purpose.
Some people go their whole lives searching for their purpose. (Image: Lio2012 via Dreamstime)

Although finding one’s purpose is a personal journey, we have a technique you can use to find a short-term purpose to anchor your determination.

How to find your purpose?

Finding one’s true purpose could take forever, which is why one technique would be to first settle for goals. Life can be tough to explain, which is why it should be broken down into seasons.

Each season of life has its theme and focus, and you can say that the next three to five years of your life are one season. 

What would you want to accomplish in the next three to five years? What will you dedicate your next three to five years to? It doesn’t have to be one thing; it can be three things in total. Having more than three primary goals isn’t advisable since this can distract you from your primary goals.

How to build determination

Now that you have a more tangible goal, it’s time to build determination. Notice the word “build,” like with muscles.

Determination has to be built over time. You can start with small challenges before broadening your perspective to more important things.

Say you find washing the dishes overwhelming. Push yourself to be determined enough to first work on the plates, then the utensils, then the cups, and so forth. Before you know it, you’ll have finished the whole task.

When smaller things no longer challenge you, this is when you start gravitating to bigger tasks or challenges at hand. Instead of washing the dishes, it can now be cleaning the kitchen, then cleaning the house, then improving your living area, then getting rid of waste, then having room and space to move, then focusing on learning, and so forth.

When smaller things no longer challenge you, this is when you start gravitating to bigger tasks or challenges at hand.
When smaller things no longer challenge you, this is when you start gravitating to bigger tasks or challenges at hand. (Image: Fizkes via Dreamstime)

The key is to start small and give yourself a chance to be challenged. If you start big, you will quickly tire out or be overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do.

Tips for determination

Once you’ve nailed your purpose for your season, there should be different things to help you enforce it. To keep yourself determined, you’ll have to feed the fire with things that help it grow.

Get rid of destructive habits

Destructive habits will pull you down and lessen your determination. These don’t have to be extreme addictions. They can be little things like not sticking to a schedule or saying you’ll do something when you actually have no intention of doing so.

Don’t compromise

And speaking of addictions, say you are determined to stop drinking but give in to the thought that “it’s okay to only have one drink,” that drink might turn into two, and so forth. It’s better to enforce the “no” right away than compromise.

Have a mantra and remind yourself

Words are powerful. If you say something several times a day, those words start to register in your head. An example is saying: “I am determined to __” every time you look in the mirror. You’ll notice how this can affect your attitude and willpower.

The key to firm determination is practice. Start with small things and grow your resolution for bigger things. One day, you’ll have enough determination to help you conquer a long or difficult task.

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