No matter what kind of success you pursue in life, there is one thing you must possess – determination.
Without determination, you’re going to give up.
Most people are living in mediocrity, and they fail to achieve their goals and live their dreams because they lack determination.
Let’s face it, we all desire success. But what separates the ones who made it and the ones who don’t is self-determination.
Your level of self-determination will greatly impact your ‘stick-to-it-ness’.
Meaning, when you are a determined person, you are more likely to stick to your plans and goals, even when things are tough.
On the contrary, if you are someone who has a weak determination, you tend to give up and quit rather than push on and continue to work on your goals.
So, are you someone who is determined?
How many goals have you set… but fail to achieve? How many times have you told yourself that you need to lose the excess fat and start exercising, but in the end, you didn’t stick to the plan?
Or how many side projects or side business hustle have you started, but you didn’t push through till the end and quit halfway?
This is why self-determination is one of the most important keys to achieving success. Let me share with you a real story of someone who is extraordinarily determined with his dreams…
Sylvester Stallone’s Determination Led Him to Become a Successful Hollywood Actor
When it comes to determination for success, Sylvester Stallone’s success story always comes to my mind. I also shared this story here.
At his career peak, Stallone was one of the big names and highest-paid actors in Hollywood. After he made it in the acting industry, his fee from acting for a movie can command as much as $20 million per movie.
But like all extraordinary people, Stallone started from zero and he wasn’t born a movie star. He didn’t the acting skills or the necessary talent in the movie industry. But he was DETERMINED.
Stallone was born in a poor family just outside of a school. He was born with a malfunctioning facial nerve, which made his face half-paralyzed and caused him to live his life with slurred speech.
Despite having all these limitations, the young Stallone had a big dream. He dreamed of wanting to be an actor and inspire millions of people through his movies. He wanted to become a star actor.
The first thing he did is to get into acting school and then started to go for auditions. Obviously, with his wooden acting skill, his dopey looks, and his slurred speech, he was rejected for every part he applied for. But, he didn’t give up.
After being rejected countless times in the audition, he pulled up a chair in front of the manager’s office and sat down, refusing to leave until they gave him a chance to act.
After a couple of hours sitting down refusing to leave, the manager got moved and decided to give him a part to act. Even though it was just a short few minutes act as an extra, the experience gave Stallone the first breakthrough. He knew that was exactly what he wanted, and his dream became even clearer.
Sadly, after that experience, Stallone never received any successful audition for any other acting job anymore. At the same time, his wife told him to be realistic and to give up on his “stupid dream” of becoming an actor. His reply was, “If I get another job, I would lose the only thing I have got going for me, my hunger. By quitting and getting a job, I would be selling out on my dream.”
Stallone eventually became so broke because he was jobless and the situation became so desperate that he had to sell his dog for $50. And that moment became the lowest point of his life as his dog was the only friend he had got left.
But came a fateful day when Stallone watched a boxing match between then world heavyweight champion Muhammed Ali and Chuck Wepner. Chuck Wepner was an underdog that everyone thought he would be defeated within the first few rounds. And what amazed everyone was the tenacity and Wepner’s determination, he lasted for a total of 15 rounds with the champion, Ali.
The fight inspired Stallone. As he watched the match on television, he got the idea of making a boxing movie just like the fight. He then started to write the movie script he had in his mind for 84 hours straight, non-stop, until he finished the script.
Stallone got so excited because he knew that this movie script was going to be a gamechanger for him.
He went around trying to sell the script, and guess what, it was not easy. He got a lot of rejection and most people told him that the movie was just too predictable and nobody wanted to watch a movie about boxing.
But again, Stallone was determined and continued to pitch directors with his movie script.
And finally, he got a company that offered him to buy over the script and the right for $75,000, which was a lot of money for him at that time.
Stallone was happy, but it was not what he wanted. He wanted to be the lead actor to fulfill his dream. The condition for the sale of the script was that he wanted to be the lead actor.
The company then increased the offer to $255,000, and then further increased it to $1 million! Do you think Stallone accepted the offer? What about you? If someone offers to buy your dream for $1 million, will you accept?
Most people would, but not Stallone. He insisted that he wanted to be the lead actor.
Eventually, they came up with an agreement. The movie would be made with a shoestring budget of less than $1 million and Stallone got only $35,000 for the writing and acting, plus a percentage of the profits from the movie if the movie made money. Of course, Stallone accepted the offer.
When he got the money, the first thing he did was to search for the person who bought his dog. He offered the person $100 to buy back his dog. The man declined by saying he is not keen to sell the dog back. Stallone increased his offer to $500, and then to $1,000. Still, the man refused to sell the dog, saying that no amount of money could ever convince him to sell the dog.
Finally, Stallone upped his offer and paid the man $15,000 to get his dog back. That was how determined Stallone was!
When the movie launched, it became one of the highest-grossing movies at that time with a $171 million gross profit. The movie was also nominated for ten academy awards including the best actor award. Sylvester Stallone instantly shot to fame as a star actor and making huge money and success in the filming industry.
What movie you asked? Rocky.
That was how determination transformed Sylvester Stallone into a famous movie star and made his dream a reality.
I hope you are inspired by the story. Now, let’s talk about how to develop self-determination. Here are the 5 keys to how you can increase your determination for your goals and dreams…
1. Make a REAL Decision
If you want to be determined, the first thing you need to do is to make a REAL decision for the things that you want to be determined about.
And when I said ‘real decision’, I’m talking about truly decide.
Meaning, once you have decided to go for something, stick to your plan and be 100% committed to it.
Do you know what is the meaning of ‘decide’?
In Latin, the word ‘decide’ means ‘decidere’, which consists of two words, ‘de’ and ‘caedere’. Which also means to ‘cut off’.
Once you decided on something, that means you have ‘cut off’ from all other possibilities. It is non-negotiable and you will stick to your decision.
Unfortunately, most people make decisions lightly. They can decide on one thing today, and the next day, they make a U-turn and change their decision.
Never let that happens to you. If you want to be determined, make sure you make a real decision and stick to it. You don’t simply back down from what you have decided and resolved.
Just like when Sylvester Stallone decided he wanted to become an actor, he did everything he could to get a role. No matter what movie it was, he just wanted to get a role and become an actor.
And once he got the idea of becoming the lead actor in Rocky, again, he was determined, and he didn’t back down. He didn’t accept any other offer except giving a role as a lead actor.
So, once you have decided, make sure you keep your promise to yourself and don’t back down.
2. Understand Your ‘WHY’
Next, you want to understand your ‘why’. There is a purpose behind what you do and what you want. And you need to identify it.
People quit and give up because they lack a strong, emotional, and exciting purpose for what they desire.
When your reason and your ‘why’ for your goals and dreams are strong enough, you will do whatever it takes to achieve them.
Think about it, why are you reading this right now? There is a reason behind it. Maybe you are inspired by Stallone’s story, and you keep reading up to this point. Or perhaps you are searching for info about being determined and found this guide.
Whatever the reason, the stronger it is, the more determined and committed you will be.
Two people can have the same goal of exercising in the gym to lose additional fat. But when it rains, one decided to skip the session while another decided to push on and stick to his plan.
The one who skips has a weak determination for what he wants, while the one who continues to work hard has a stronger determination.
The same goes for everything you do in life. I have seen many people started a blog, only to give up a couple of weeks later.
They started a blog with the weak purpose of making money. And when they don’t see the money coming to them, they give up and start another project. Those who choose to stay on and stick to their plans are those with a stronger purpose.
You must identify your purpose. Find out your ‘why’.
Here are some resources to help you discover your ‘why’:
3. Become OBSESSED with Your Goals and Dreams
Are you obsessed with your goals and dreams? If you don’t, you need to do that right now.
Determined people are obsessed with the things they want.
For instance, Kobe Bryant was totally determined with becoming the best basketball player in the world. And he was obsessed with basketball too. He talked about it, trained all day, dreamed it, breathed it, and made basketball a part of his life.
How about you? Are you obsessed with your goals?
The more obsessed you are, the more determined you will become.
If you are not determined with something, you don’t bother talking about it or doing it.
I’m obsessed with personal development and content creation. I read personal development books every day. I talk about it with my wife and I write blog posts about it, just like this guide you are reading right now. I attend seminars and take courses whenever possible. I create YouTube videos and I also learn how to do better. By the way, if you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube channel, please do so here.
This is my obsession. My goal is my obsession. The more I talk and work on my goal, the more determined and obsessed I become.
Do you know how Nike’s co-founder Bill Bowerman discovered the honeycomb-designed shoe base? Because Bowerman was obsessed with improving runners’ speed. He wanted to create a shoe that is light so that runners can run faster.
When he saw his wife was making waffles for breakfast, he took the waffle maker and used it to create the base of a sports shoe. He destroyed the waffle maker, but he got the idea of making the shoe lighter, with a honeycomb-shaped design. That was the obsession of Bill Bowerman in making a better shoe for runners.
Thus, become obsessed with your dreams and goals. Talk about them all day. Breath them, sleep on them, and make them a part of your life.
When you give your goals and dreams a life, they will come into your life.
4. Remove FEARS and Internal Conflicts
One thing that stops most people from becoming determined about what they want is their fears and internal conflicts.
- They want to build an online business, but they worry about what if they fail?
- They want to invest in the stock market, but they pull back because they doubt if it is the right time.
- They want to write a book and become an author, but they think they don’t have the writing skills or qualifications of a writer.
Never let your fears and internal conflicts talk you out of your dreams.
Self-determination is often destroyed by fears and lousy self-talk. Here’s a quote that describes this perfectly:
“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”
Yes, if you keep telling yourself you can’t do it, guess what, you won’t. Whether you think you can or you cannot, you are right.
You must get rid of your fears if you want to be determined with what you want.
There is no way you can be determined AND at the same time having fears or internal conflicts.
You can only choose one. Either you make excuses, or you make progress. You can’t do both.
Therefore, get rid of your fears. And overcome all internal conflicts you have with yourself in your head.
These guides will help you…
5. Get Positively INFLUENCED
Another great way to increase your self-determination is through positive influence. Meaning, you want to get influenced by other positive and successful people.
You are who you spend the most time with.
If you always spend time and mix with people who complain, guess what, you will end up becoming one of them. You will complain and play the blame game.
Similarly, if you always spend time and mix with positive and successful people, their energy and mindset will influence the way you think and act too. You will become optimistic and successful too.
That’s the power of influence.
According to Nicholas Christakis, an American sociologist and physician known for his work on social networks once researched influence from others.
In one of his studies, he said that non-drinkers who spend time with people who drink significantly increase their chances of becoming drinkers themselves.
“People were 50% more likely to be heavy drinkers if one of their friends or relatives drank heavily. However, if a friend-of-a-friend drank heavily, people were only 36% more likely to do so, and if a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend drank heavily, they were 15% more likely to do so.”
This is why you want to network, spend time, make friends, and mix with people who are determined and committed.
And usually, determined and committed people are more successful than ordinary people. Hence, spend time and get positively influenced by people who are more successful than you.
The journey to success is not an easy one. It comes with a lot of bumps and holes. Plus, success isn’t going to happen overnight.
And this is why you want to develop self-determination. You want to be able to stick to your goal and bounce back even when things are not going your way.
The good news is that determination is a characteristic. And like a skill, you can develop determination. You can work on the 5 tips I shared above and make yourself more determined for the things you want to achieve in life.
Do you think you are a determined person? And after through this guide, do you know what you need to do to improve your determination? Leave your comment below and let me know.
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