Determination  (Selected Excerpts)
April, 2013
I once read a quote by Robert Frost in which he stated that “The only way around is through.”  When times get difficult, and the easy way around seems tempting, this quote reminds me of a word that my high school track coach would stress in every situation: determination.  In track and field, determination is often described as endurance or stamina.  However, it is determination that controls us when both the mind and body have reached their breaking point. Determination can be evidenced where our goals, circumstances, and capabilities require extra ordinary strength.

Determination is the power that comes from the strength of one’s frame of mind and conviction.  Determination is the voice inside your head, that when all seems lost and bleak, speaks the loudest in confidence and assurance.  The strength which comes from this is one that reinforces a person’s resolve.  It is the internal voice of determination that digs in its’ heels and cheers on the forward march.  …  On a much greater scale, Ronald Reagan commended the Berliners for their commitment to their goals during his remarks at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin on June 12, 1987, when he stated that “there’s a great deal to be said for your fortitude, for your defiant courage” (Reagan).  …

Many of Aristotle’s teachings involving courage claim that the “courageous are without fear” (Brady).  However, I would argue that the circumstances of a situation can use fear as a catalyst for determination.  Recently, we have seen these acts of determination in the circumstances of the passengers of Flight 93 on September 11, 2001.   Chesley B. Sullenberger, who was piloting US Airways flight 1549 and subsequently landed his plane on the Hudson River, demonstrated this as well.  ….

In most cases, our capabilities are only limited by the strength of our determination and our desire to accomplish our goal.  Abraham Lincoln stated that we should “Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.”  Specifically, the portion of that quote that speaks most to me is that “we shall find the way.”  Abraham Lincoln’s quote illustrates that determination can make almost anything possible.  …

The concept of determination is more than the word itself. … It involves a collaborative effort of the entire person: mind, body, and soul.  Our goals and capabilities are limited only by the measure of our determination, while our circumstances act as the fuel.  Desire without determination may only be a pipe dream.  Amazingly, the strength of determination can propel us to achieve our goals in challenging circumstances with limited capabilities. …


Works Cited

Brady, Michelle E. “The Fearlessness of Courage.” Southern Journal of Philosophy 43.2 (2005): 189-211. Academic Search Premier. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.

“Reagan’s Berlin Wall Speech (1987).” n.pag. SIRS Government Reporter. Web. 30 Apr 2013.

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