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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Determination

In January, you see a lot of information about resolutions, intentions, goal setting, and so on. This is all nice, and they work for some people, but not for me. 
When I was in my 20s, I decided I wanted to be a writer and earn my living from it. It took 10 years before I made my first sale. That's a long apprenticeship. 
I took classes, read books, and wrote, wrote, wrote. There were times when I was tempted to give up. Like the day I received a three-page rejection letter that criticized every misplaced comma, challenged every statement, and generally tore apart what was a 900-word article. Instead of quitting, I learned where the commas went and how to double- and triple-check facts. The next submission to this publication was accepted, and I cashed a check with my name on it. 
Twenty+ years later, I've had 11 books published by traditional houses, have run a successful communications consulting business, and still am a professional writer/editor. I also teach a variety of writing, editing, and professional development workshops in addition to serving the writing/editing needs of my private clients and doing my own writing. Yet, of the hundreds of rejection letters I have received over the years, I have never forgotten that three-page rejection letter. It still stings to think about it. But it didn't stop me.
 A friend used to tell me I was the most disciplined person she knew. It wasn't discipline. It was determination to keep going and make it. 
According to Merriam-Webster.com, determination is "...a quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult." 
Intention is not enough; resolve isn't enough; it takes determination to win the gold medal, take first place, win professional success. Determination comes from wanting something more than anything else, doing what it takes to achieve it, and staying the course long after most other people would have quit. So if you're thinking that it's too hard, that you won't make it, that you're too old/young/, that you don't have the time/money/energy...stop. 
Want it so badly that you can't quit. 
Determine to achieve it regardless of the price because at the end what you do achieve is priceless. 
#thesuccessfulprofessional

Originally published on LinkedIn Determination

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