When I think of determination, the first thought that comes to my mind is “the eye of the tiger.” If you are Rocky fans, you’ll know exactly where I get this statement from because it was one of the movie’s theme songs. Life is tricky. Often, we let fear ride in and swoop us into a tidal wave because we are afraid of the outcome, but when we decide that we are taking our life and creating drastic choices, we become determined to change the course of living.

I have two degrees. The first is a Bachelor’s Degree from Guilford College. It’s kept me working, but I’m not doing the kind of work I thought I would with a Bachelor’s. I wouldn’t trade the fact that I’ve been able to remain employed throughout the pandemic. No, the job isn’t glamorous. It’s hard work and some days are very long. Yet, I find myself wanting more. Perhaps, it’s because of what I am currently doing that I see myself determined to change. I’ve opted to take courses in a different direction than what I had taken previously. I am what you might call a professional student at times because I refuse to stop learning. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new language or skill; I’m determined to make the most out of my education as possible. The second degree is an Associate’s Degree. All those papers tell anyone is I was determined to get the piece of paper that denotes an education. It doesn’t mean the story of what it took to get those degrees.

I’ve referred to Simone Biles several times since writing this blog site. I don’t know her personally. I can tell you that the world of gymnastics is challenging. I love sports. As a former gymnast, I can relate to many of the exercises that I see these girls do. It’s not easy to master any of those skills. It requires discipline, practice, coordination, and determination. Someone can rarely start gymnastics with little to no training and nail a move. When it does happen, it’s a special moment. Talent can be raw and undiscovered. It can be nurtured, cultivated, and grown. Many things depend on the success of an athlete. It doesn’t matter what sport a person participates in because the principles are the same. What matters is how badly the athlete wants to be the best in their field. Simone exemplifies how short people are influential. That young woman has more power in her tiny frame than many who are considered giants. She is determined to change the dynamics of the sport, and she exemplifies excellence. You will not see her talk poorly about others. She is laser-focused on being the best she can be. Everything else is inconsequential, and that mindset serves her well.

It doesn’t matter who the athlete is. You may be one of them. When you have the hunger and desire for something more significant than the mundane, you will use your determination to push yourself further than you ever dreamed. Sometimes those dreams work out, and other times, they are crushed but never trying to accomplish your desires will cause a lifetime of regret.

Let’s switch gears for a second. What is one of the best ways to get someone motivated and determined to push themselves forward? This concept is different for everyone, but when you give people a reason that means something to them, you will get a determined person ready to achieve new goals and dreams.

Listen, there are people in my life I love dearly, but all you hear out of their mouths is what they will do. They don’t follow through. If their mouths could provide results, then they would not have a problem achieving their goals. Instead of accepting responsibility and being determined to make better life changes, they are too busy throwing shade at others. Life is too short to be petty.

I have dreams of settling down at some point, and I’m determined to be happy in my life. That determination is paying off because I’m pursuing intelligent and adventurous academic credentials, and I’m networking with many people and stepping out of my comfort zone. I’m not shutting out possibilities to relocate.

Determination is only one tool we use to find more significant opportunities, but it’s a crucial one because it’s challenging to remain focused on our goals and ambitions without determination. My hope for each of you is that you can pursue your dreams without losing sight of what you think is important to you. Keep focused, and don’t let others ruffle your feathers. Change is going to happen with or without you. Use your determination to help you achieve your dreams. Who knows? You may even discover new goals along the way that alter your determination. Have a great day, everyone.

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