Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

Determination — 4 Reasons Why It’s Important

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Determination and persistence were a way of life for me growing up as a hillbilly in Wyoming. We were among the poor and rural that make up most of this state—a two-hour drive from the nearest small town.

For this reason, we had a private tutor provided by the state who lived in the house with us. I was in first grade and her name was Mrs. Garrity. A retired school teacher from Chicago, she thought living on a remote cattle ranch in the middle of Wyoming would be an adventure.

It was 10 miles on dirt road from our ranch house to the last gate on our property, and another 60 miles to town. Mrs. Garrrity went home for Christmas and was due back after the New Year. She didn’t arrive on Sunday evening as scheduled, and I was happily playing in the snow by the horse barn when I looked up and saw my grandfather screech his pickup to a halt. He didn’t even bother to open the gate and drive in. Instead, he jumped over it and motioned to my dad to join them. Immediately, both raced to the house.

The only communication available in this remote area was a two-way radio so I followed them. I knew something big was up and I couldn’t wait to find out!

It seems that Mrs. Garrity got her car stuck in a snowdrift just as she passed through that last gate that led onto our property. Perhaps she didn’t realize she was 10 miles from the ranch house, but she started to walk in the cold and dark. She made it 5 miles before she froze to death.

My grandfather had found her body beside a wire fence. He covered her up with an old tarp he had stashed in his pickup and weighed it down with 2 fence posts placed on either side of the body.

Saddened beyond words, our whole family reacted as only stoic and stalwart people can in a situation like this—we kept moving forward. We had no contingency plan for a tragedy like this. We had a body to protect from wolves and coyotes until a coroner arrived, no teacher, and absolutely no idea how I would graduate from first grade without one.

Entrepreneurs, business owners, and leaders all understand how life and business can surprise us. You have plans, and they work fine, until you get sucker punched by new competition, market upheavals, or high employee turnover.

Often, your determination is the glue that holds your organization together when plans go awry or you’re confronted with an unexpected obstacle.

Here are 4 reasons determination is important to your success:

1. DETERMINATION HELPS YOU OVERCOME THE UNEXPECTED

When things do not go according to plan, it’s tempting to give up. We lose our confidence and think about moving on to something that is easier. This is exactly what most people do because we’re afraid of failure and shirk away from things that are hard and necessary.

Plans make us feel safe, but be ready when things spin out of your control so you can still land on your feet. You may need to change course and adapt in some way. Your goal remains the same, but your roadmap to get there may need to be changed.

My parents could never have anticipated Mrs. Garrity’s death, but they drilled into me the dangers of surviving winters at an altitude of 7,000 ft. We always had extra blankets and clothes in our pickup when we traveled in cold weather.

Mrs. Garrity was found wearing nothing but a dress, light jacket, low heels, and a flimsy scarf.

What It Means For You: Develop an agile mindset by trying to anticipate potential setbacks and have a contingency plan for them.

2. DETERMINATION ENABLES YOU TO KEEP FOCUSED

When things go wrong it is hard to maintain motivation and focus. Determination allows you to remain focused on long term goals so you can adjust your behavior accordingly.

Often, this requires you to keep emotions in check to prevent them from sabotaging your efforts to keep moving forward.

We were laden with grief when Mrs. Garrity died. Packing up her things and sending them, along with her body, back to Chicago was emotionally very difficult. Maintaining focus on our duty to her family remained at the forefront of our thinking.

What It Means For You: Visualize yourself accomplishing your goal no matter what it takes. Keep your eye on the goal and see yourself reaching the end.

3. DETERMINATION IS FED BY ENCOURAGEMENT AND SUPPORT

When things spin out of your control, find support and encouragement from those around you whom you trust and admire. Based on their experience and expertise, seek out their advice and suggestions on how to keep moving forward.

Successful people with determination understand that they still need to do the hard work, but it is very encouraging when you are surrounded with positive reinforcement. No one is their own island and we all need other people’s assistance. It might just be a short chat or a few words of support.

Be the person who reaches out when you need support rather than give up.

A former schoolteacher heard about our situation and agreed to replace Mrs. Garrity so I could graduate from first grade. Our predictament was shared by many good friends and neighbors who wanted to reach out and help.

What It Means For You: Do not be afraid to share your situation with others, but be picky about it. Make sure they are people who truly want what is best for you and will give you both constructive and positive feedback. Look for “mirror” friends who will be honest, loving, and objective.

4. DETERMINATION MAKES YOU DIG DEEP DOWN

If you are on a path that has value and meaning for you, you are definitely on the right path, so keep going. If you are not, then a setback or failure will be enough to make you give up and try something else.

Success can be very misleading because often it is where we stay, whether it’s what really fuels us or not. It is a success that is based in complacency because we are too scared of failure to pursue the type of work that would provide value and meaning.

What It Means For You: Don’t take the easy way out. Dig deep down and find the things that you can’t walk away from; that is your true north. When you are pursuing that kind of goal, it won’t matter what other people say because your inner vision is far stronger than any external obstacle you will come up against.

© 2017 LaRae Quy. All rights reserved.

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Author of “Mental Toughness for Women Leaders: 52 Tips To Recognize and Utilize Your Greatest Strengths” and “Secrets of a Strong Mind.” 

9 Ways You Can Conquer the World

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

I may have wanted to conquer the world, but my first FBI supervisor was a tall, affable guy named Bill who tended to assign the sticky cases to the newest agent on the squad—me. Bill handed me a dog-eared file that had obviously been kicked around for a few years. The case was so old that one of the witnesses had died! 

Mental Toughness - win the race

I started to complain but Bill held up his hand and said, “What I expect from you is an adventurous response.”

I had joined the FBI because I was seeking something unique and exciting, and the more I thought about Bill’s admonition, I realized that adventure can not only be found in  our experiences, it can also be found in the way we think.

An adventurous response is looking for the possibility in every situation, even when it doesn’t look all that great at first glance. Bill’s suggestion brought me to a closer understanding of the role of positive thinking in developing mental toughness. I was a new agent, but Bill understood that by focusing my attention on the positive aspects of my case, I would mature into the kind of person who looked at both life and work as an adventure.

When leaders have an adventurous response to life’s vicissitudes, they can conquer the world.

Here are 9 ways:

1. Start Early and Win the Morning

If it takes caffeine to get you started in the morning, go for a full cup. If you procrastinate in starting your day, what does that foretell about the way you’ll approach the rest of it? Eat a good breakfast, pray, read the Bible, workout—feed your mind, body, and soul first thing every morning. 

2. Surround Yourself with Successful People

Pick your friends with care—they create the environment in which you will either thrive or wilt. Give everyone the opportunity to be a friend, but share your dreams and goals only with those who value them as much as you do.

If you surround yourself with positive people who build you up and believe in you, you can conquer the world. No matter how many you have in your network, if you want to be truly successful you will need three types of people:

  • Those who are older and more successful to learn from
  • Those who are your contemporaries for encouragement
  • Those who are below you in experience to keep you energized

3. Believe and Act As If Everything Is a Gift

Instead of appearing like Pollyanna, think about it like this: Assuming everything is a gift is a great way of looking at the problems that will undoubtedly pop up in life and business. Choose an adventurous response by remaining positive so you are not intimidated by obstacles.

4. Write in a Journal

Goals, dreams, and ideas that are not written down are not real.

Journals can:

  • Force you to clarify what you want
  • Motivate you to take action
  • Filter the best opportunities
  • Help overcome resistance
  • Enable you to celebrate your progress

5. Engage in Mindfulness, Prayer, Meditation, or Yoga On a Daily Basis

Research has shown that the benefits of mindfulness are not just for individual health, but also for corporate bottom lines. Stress-reduction doesn’t just make us happier and healthier, it’s a proven competitive advantage for any business that wants one.

6. Ask Questions, Lots of Them, Always

Raising new questions, exploring possibilities, and regarding old problems from a new angle activates our imagination and stimulates our thinking. Continually ask yourself these questions:

  • What is my purpose on earth?
  • Where is my heart telling me to go?
  • What should I stop doing?
  • What should I start doing?
  • What is my petri dish?

7. Try, Try, and Then Try Again

If you want to try something new, you will fail at first; if you don’t fail, then it wasn’t really anything new at all. Failure is a wonderfully clarifying process because if you fail and give up, then you’re heart wasn’t in it. Move on so you can get somewhere better.

If, however, you fail and do not accept defeat, keep at it until you find the secret to unlocking the potential, in both yourself and your obstacle.

8. Start At the End, and Then Don’t Stop There

Decide what you want to do, who you want to be, and where you want to end up. You cannot conquer the world setting average goals for yourself. Aim at nothing and you will hit it every time. 

Never start small where goals are concerned. Most people don’t set goals too high and miss; they set goals too low and hit. Your decisions will be better when your ultimate goal is ultimate success. 

9. Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

Setting and achieving a goal isn’t the finish line for people who are successful. Achieving one goal is simply a launching pad for the next huge goal. 

When you become successful in one field, you will find that you have the skill set to be remarkably successful in other fields. Do not settle for running one race. Expect and plan to win a number of them.

Mental toughness is choosing how you respond to life’s circumstances rather than leaving things to chance. Once you do, you can conquer the world.

Any tips to offer on how people can conquer their world?

© 2014 LaRaeQuy. All rights reserved.

You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, AND LinkedIn

Get my FREE 45-Question Mental Toughness Assessment

Author of “Mental Toughness for Women Leaders: 52 Tips To Recognize and Utilize Your Greatest Strengths” and “Secrets of a Strong Mind.” 

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