When you see examples of modern success stories, it is often hard to detect how much sheer determination played. If you watch a lot of reality TV, winners often seem to achieve victory through a combination of obnoxiousness and overly-plumped lips. Growing up, most of us had a built-in sense of determination. It is what encouraged us to explore the world around us (whether that was through travel, books or art) and learn everything that we could about our little planet. Determination drives us to master our environment so that we can live fruitful and prosperous lives.
I am constantly inspired by bloggers who have built empires with lots of hard work and determination. One of my current favorites is Liz from The Lemon Bowl, a food blogger based in Grand Rapids that I interviewed in 2014! She is amazing – I think her fight with weight loss which she defeated with hard work and willpower led her to the media empire she continues to build on today. I love watching her daily Instagram stories, they certainly keep me motivated and striving for more.
But let’s get real. Over time, the realities of life can get you down, and you might feel your determination wane. That initial desire that you had gets replaced with excuses and apathy. You may no longer have the courage to aspire to the same vision and/or goals that you once did.
While some successes come on the back of blind luck, most are the result of perseverance, even adversity. Here is why determination matters, especially in business (AND blogging!).
It Drives You To Invest In Yourself
Without determination, it isn’t easy to make any kind of headway in investing in yourself. You don’t have the drive that it takes to do the hard work of improving yourself.
According to research done by the University of Alabama Birmingham, determination and ambition can help you acquire the tangible skills that you need in the business world. While that’s true, you need a sense of grit to excel in any area of your life, including your health, relationships, or personal wellbeing.
Investing in yourself by learning, eating right, working hard, and making changes to your perspective is not easy. If it were, then everyone would be doing it, and we would live in a much different world.
Determination is what gives you the drive to make the effort to invest in yourself and succeed in the long term.
It Gives You Focus
There’s a second benefit of determination: it gives you focus. Being determined is about more than gritting your teeth and getting on with what you have to do to succeed. It is also about giving yourself the justification that you need to block out all of the distractions in your life so that you can focus on the things that really matter in the here and now.
As you know, the modern world is full of distractions. Mobile phone notifications are a problem, but so too are unhealthy relationships, dead-end jobs, and being out of shape.
When I think of focus when it comes to blogging, I think that honing in (focusing) on your content goes a long way to helping you define and refine who you are as a blogger.
It Lets You Dig Deep
Most people are capable of way more than they think. We tend to underestimate what we can achieve in the long term because we have such a short view of things. One or 2 years is nothing, but 10 or 20 is game-changing. You can go from abject poverty to a life of luxury and fulfillment when you take a broader time horizon.
In the early years, you’ll be down in the trenches, working hard to make the magic happen. With enough time and perseverance, however, determination can make almost anything possible.
How about you? Have any tips for staying focused and determined? Who inspires you to stay that way?