What is Determination?

23 Aug , 2014  

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” Dr. Seuss

What makes determination? Is it a chemical concoction? The seed of an idea? Or is it an environmental force just waiting to give us the push we need? Linzy Davis describes determination as a “tool” we use to deal with the tasks that are provided for us. Webster’s describes determination as a “fixed purpose”, once we decide to do something we don’t stop until it is done.

Determination is one of the strongest tools we as human beings have in our disposal. Without determination we wouldn’t have personal computers, cell phones, automobiles… Heck it took Edison over four thousand tries to make a working light bulb, and do you think it was easy for people in caves to make fire with two sticks and a rock? We owe so much to determination and the best part is that it is in all of us. Once you have the determination you can do anything no matter how many times you fail, and this has been witnessed many many times. Henry Ford had five businesses fail before he created the Ford Motor Company. Soichiro Honda was turned down for a job at Toyota which left him jobless for months, he started making scooters in his garage which caught on in his neighborhood. Seeing how popular his scooters were his neighbors pushed him into starting his own business.

However, determination is not just for creating multibillion dollar companies. After his accident Christopher Reeve was left with no feeling in most of his body. The doctors told him that he would live off of a machine the rest of his life and he would never walk again. After a few months considering what he would do with his new life Reeve decided on two things: one, that he would use his experience to bring more attention to the quadriplegic and paralysis associations, and that one day he would walk again. After a lot of hard work Reeve was able to feel a pinprick over most of his body and he regained movement to his left index finger. Tom Dempsey was born with no toes on his right foot and no fingers on his right hand. Despite missing some digits, Dempsey only wanted to do one thing: play football. A prosthetic foot was made for him and after years of playing he was accepted into the NFL. Not only did Tom play in the NFL but he held the title for longest field goal (63 yards) for over thirty years.
Ok so what’s the point?

Today I had a conversation with a coworker about a man in Australia who contacted myelitis which led to his nerves not being able to properly function. After my coworkers “so what” face I proceeded to tell him that in four years not only did he regain the function of his nerves he now squats over two hundred pounds. Impressive right? Well, the first thing my colleague said was, “it better have not been one of those miracle deals, tell me he worked for it, tell me he succeeded through determination.” Which got me thinking, determination is such a valued aspect in a situation because it comes from within. Sure if a shark was swimming after you most likely you’d try very hard to swim away. But the determination to not be a statistic was from a deeper thought in your sub conscience saying, “I want to live!” You can’t just take a determination pill, you have to put in the time to find it. Be it an original idea or an outside force we all have the ability to find our own determination. It’s free, effective and most importantly it makes you feel better about yourself.


Written By:

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Tyler Nishikawa[/author_info] [/author]

Davis, Linzy. “What Is Determination.” What Is Determination. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Aug. 2014. <>.

“50 Famously Successful People Who Failed At First –” N.p., 16 Feb. 2010. Web. 20 Aug. 2014. <>.

“Obituary: Christopher Reeve.” BBC News. BBC, 10 Nov. 2004. Web. 22 Aug. 2014. <>.

Culpepper, Chuck. “Tom Dempsey’s Field Goal Is Still the Greatest Ever.” N.p., 10 Dec. 2013. Web. 22 Aug. 2014. <!bIsWiq>.

Eaves, Ali. “This Man Was Paralyzed 4 Years Ago. Now He Can Squat More Than You.” @MensHealthMag. N.p., 22 Aug. 2014. Web. 22 Aug. 2014. <>.


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