Determination can keep you going

Friday September 05, 2014 Written by Published in Virtues in Paradise

Have you ever had a dream and wished it could come true?


Have you ever wanted something that seemed beyond your reach? 
A new job? Moving to a new place?
A miraculous shift in a relationship?
A change in yourself such as giving up something that is hurting your health?
The key to making any dream come true is to call on the virtues, the gifts within that are our spiritual capacities.
When we set our sights on a goal, there is tremendous exhilaration in flexing our spiritual muscles, stretching our wings, and soaring out of our comfort zone.
To do this we need the virtue of Hope and then another virtue that will serve as the wind beneath our wings.
The virtue that lifts us up, taking us beyond hope is Determination.
When Determination is in the service of Faith, it is incredibly powerful.
As Isaiah 40:31 tells us, “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
There are great examples here in the Cook Islands of true Determination.
One sees it on the rugby and soccer fields, in netball and volleyball as well as in the young sailors, the paddlers and those who go out before dawn to fish for tuna or mahi mahi.
In the recent celebrations during Constitution Week, I was amazed to see people who had been at work all day, come out that evening in costume, usually one they had made themselves,  ready to sing and dance their hearts out.
Their level of excellence reflected hours of practice, also at the end of days of school or work.
The determination shown throughout the year in honouring Cook Islands culture is just amazing.
Jesse Owens was an icon of Determination.
He was an African American athlete, known for his awesome success in Germany at the summer Olympics in 1936.
Owens won international fame with four gold medals: 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump, and 4X100 meter relay.
Wikipedia says, “He was the most successful athlete at the games and as such has been credited with ‘single-handedly crushing Hitler’s myth of Aryan (white) supremacy.’” Jesse Owens said: "We all have dreams. But making dreams come true takes true determination.”
A Latter Day Saints friend of mine once said, “Heavenly father never steers a parked car.” You’ve probably heard the saying, “God helps those who help themselves.”
Here are a few tips to tap into the power of determination:
1. First, discern your goal. If you are a person of prayer, ask God to guide you to the ideal dream.
2. Be clear about what you want to accomplish. Visualize it happening. See yourself making that goal, taking that trip, or bringing home an A.
3. Decide to do it.
4. Focus your full attention on your goal. Be whole-hearted.
5. Lay out the steps toward it and take them one by one.
6. Keep at it until it is done. Don’t let distractions derail you.
There is little in this life as exciting as reaching toward a high goal and then with all the determination in your soul, striving for it and getting there.  As Les Brown said, “Why not shoot for the moon? At least you’ll land among the stars.”

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