Determination and tenacity

Determination or grit should not be deemed as an overrated trait or characteristic. Indeed, it adds a lot of intrinsic worth to a person, rendering that person hugely successful in life. The more determination one possesses, the better it is for that person. It constitutes a burning desire, a fiery resolve and an unrelenting surge to remain focused and resolute in order to achieve one’s goals, targets, ambitions and plans. The determined person will never take ‘No’ for an answer and will work steadfastly and with fortitude, trying earnestly to always make the ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ ‘I’M POSSIBLE’ without losing heart or sense of purpose.

To take a recent example, Sania Mirza, one of the brightest stars in the firmament of Indian tennis, is a person possessing dogged perseverance and an indomitable never-say-die spirit. She has often reiterated that the difference between being merely talented and an erstwhile “champion” is that the talented person possesses abilities, but the champion has the added ‘killer instinct’ that enables the person to vanquish the opponent due to the hyper quality of avid determination. Nowhere is it truer than on the tennis court that, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Understandably, it is easier for one to be staunchly determined when situations and circumstances are rosy, sanguine, optimistic and hunky dory. It is, however, far more appreciative and laudable for one to be determined and focused in the midst of difficulties, obstacles and hurdles that threaten to engulf one. This quality of not veering from the beaten track, but plodding one resolutely and goading one’s self with inspiring ideals and lessons – even in the midst of obstacles – is termed ‘tenacity’ and is a quality which is a notch higher in the hierarchy than mere ‘determination’.

To hone tenacity, a person must necessarily have great mental strength, stamina and resilience. The person must exude positive, vibrant and never-ceasing energy that helps them surge towards a goal triumphantly and successfully. The tenacious person is resilient, uncompromising and does not falter, waver or vacillate even in the face of difficulties. Instead, the person views the predicament as a fitting challenge and rises to the occasion, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, undeterred.

Robert Bruce was a talented military leader, but felt unreasonably disillusioned when he was defeated in the battle six times. When he had taken shelter in a cave, he spied a spider trying to weave a web. The spider tried and failed six times, but never gave up hope and succour, and subsequently, on the seventh attempt, succeeded. This had an enormous impact on the observant Robert, who girded up his loins and went to battle for the seventh time, he emerging victorious by vanquishing the enemy. How true are the words of the following quotation, “Life’s battles don’t always go to the faster or stronger man/ But sooner or later, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.”

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