Now that society at large has endured a terrible pandemic, many people are reviewing their professional and personal habits for 2022. Some of the older patterns will not serve us now and others may need some polish. Even many organizations are coordinating action for projects and goal achievement for the coming year.
A superb example of resolve is Jessie Owens, winning 4 gold medals in the 1936 Olympics. Jesse was born in Alabama and his early life was marked by poverty. He was forced to take many menial jobs and working in a shoe repair shop. However, he was able to develop his passion for running and athletics; from an early age he was marked as having great potential talent. In later life he gave much credit to Charles Riley, his high school coach who encouraged him and made allowances for his difficulty in making evening training sessions because Jesse had to work. Jesse rose to national prominence in 1933, when he equaled the world record (9.4 seconds) for the 100-yard dash. He attended Ohio State University, but without a scholarship he had to continue working part time.
Whether it is a personal goal or a specialized result as large as the Dept. Of Forestry’s tree planting program, what are the habits that nourish deterministic behavior? Reflect on the areas below and determine where you may need to cultivate your practices for determination:
- Declare a commitment, not just an intention and build your life not just as an endless pursuit of activities. Intentions are very much like New Year resolutions. They possess great desire; although, they are never achieved. It’s not that they lack sincerity but are insufficient for coordinating action for yourself or others. Intention is not enough to change emotional and behavioral patterns either from an individual’s own belief system. Commitments are a crucial element of our lives in building and maintaining meaningful success in relationships, in business, in spiritual development and even, in physical health. Commitments are not only those made internally for imminent achievement; but, also for how we coordinate actions with others. Commitments involve passion and are made from deep concern or alarm. Remember that you are bigger than your job or your chosen profession. Shift your life to focus on something purposeful and meaningful to you, whether it’s reforestation, food harvesting or fundraising for natural disaster recovery. Connect in a deeper way to the world around you and those things you care about.
- Don’t allow baggage from yesterday to creep into today’s efforts. Everyone has some history of relationships, failures, or even estranged family. When you are focusing on the goals of tomorrow, do not attach those stories to the discernment of how you will progress through the events of the present moment. What happened in the past has its place in the past, not today.
- Whatever the goal, keep your focus on the bigger vision. What will change or be the benefits to a larger community could even be a legacy for you. Ask yourself what concept you want to prove or make clear about your concerns such as, demonstrating cultural inclusion or cooperating with other religious groups on holidays.
- Change your relationship with time. Big visions and dreams require determination and perseverance as well as talent. When highway construction forced the closure of Colonel Sanders’ tiny restaurant inside a gas station, he drove around the southern states to other restaurants to cook chicken for them. Ultimately. news of the quality of the chicken spread to other restaurants enabling the Colonel to begin franchising, well after he was 40 years of age! Time becomes not as big an issue when the end result is a service to the community such as, the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute achieved a land lease that enabled the market vendors to set down roots; and secure a commercial selling locale for the first time in 35 years!
- Associate with positive people, not the nay-sayers that say it can’t be done. Negative people will suck the life out of your ambitions and hopes. Start by engaging and building a substantial support community of like-minded friends and colleagues. As the late Christopher Reeve said, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable; and then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”
- Practice gratitude for those that have helped you get to where you are today. Use reflection to appreciate the resources they provide, not what you may have lost along the journey. As someone with the early onset of Parkinson’s, Michael J. Fox has stated, “One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but cannot be taken away unless it is surrendered.”
When you need to re-enforce your habits for determination, ask yourself:
- If your dream is a humanity ‘calling’ such as, organic food harvesting or companion service to shut-ins, what will be your routines to set resolve for yourself?
- How often do you catch yourself just complaining or whining about your issues or goals? How can you begin to look at the world with curiosity and a renewed interest?