• Madhura

Steely Determination

Hello my dear friends, welcome to yet another episode of Morning cup of sunshine podcast. This is episode number 27, Steely determination. This episode is very special and do you know why? This episode's subject is suggested by none other than my dear Mihir.

Happy Moment of the Week

The other day, Mihir was reading some book. He came rushing to me and said I have a topic idea for you. He read the quote out from the book out loud, “” Unflinching determination has an extraordinary importance in the life of any human being. Self confidence, belief in one’s own capabilities, and an unrelenting determination to carry on without worrying about the consequences, enable a person to accomplish even the most impossible task.” and then said proudly, steely determination that could be your next episode. I loved the idea and the quote too. He was so happy that he suggested a topic and of course that I agreed so quickly. I am so proud of my little boy. He is getting mature day by day. I am happy that my podcasting is expanding his world too. This was absolutely my highlight of the week. What about you my friends? As I always say, close your eyes, try to remember the moments that brought you joy. Experience it again, feel that joy again. It can be a small, trivial one but if it brought a smile on your face then don’t forget to share it with me. I am waiting as usual for your happy moment over at our Facebook group. Morning Cup of Sunshine community.

Know your Why

Alright friends, today’s topic, steely determination is a goal which plays an important role in your success. If you are determined to work on something, you already win the half battle. But is it always easy to be determined? Is it always natural for someone to be determined and continue working on your ambition everyday? Determination needs your 100 % focus, dedication, intention and a firm belief to achieve your goal. You need to be laser focused towards your goal. Determination decides your destination. But is it that straight forward? I think the very first thing that you need to do is focus on your why. Why do you want to achieve this goal? Why do you want to be determined to get closer to your dream? A goal without action, direction and determination is just a dream. I highly highly recommend before diving full force into your journey, sit back and write down why you want to take this journey? Writing it down always makes it more real. This is applicable to even small day to day intentions. I think, few days back I mentioned in my episode “Dealing with change” that I was writing in my journal and was struggling to find the happy moment because I was too overwhelmed with my to-do list. That day, I added one more prompt to my journal which is called, “Intentions for the day” I write down one sentence, it goes something like this - “I am determined to be… today”. Some Days when I feel stressed with all the pending tasks on my plate, I write down that I am determined to be calm, patient and productive. Writing it in a journal is like a constant reminder to keep my emotions in a healthy range. If you look closely, the words are I am determined to be not I want to be or I hope to be. They are, I am determined to be. I firmly believe that there is a great power in the words that you chose. They can hurt you or lift you up and you know I am always all about lifting the spirit up. Writing that I am determined to be calm, gives me a much needed push to monitor my feelings closely. It makes me more vigilant towards my feelings. Since I write about my intentions for the day everyday, it is a constant reminder on how I intend to spend my day. So, it always helps to write down your thoughts. When you want to lose weight or run a marathon or write a book or very simply eat healthy every single day, spend some time and write down why you are so determined to do these things? What is the motive? Are you serious enough to follow through? Are you doing it for somebody else or for yourself? Determining your why is the first step towards your goal. Motivation will take you only so long but if you know why you are doing the things that you do, it will boost your energy, confidence to keep pushing. Motivation only gives you desire, but determination will open the doors of success. Finding your why gives you clarity. It gives you meaning, your purpose. I totally understand if you have no clue about your why or if you have never really thought about your why, it will feel overwhelming to find your why. Don’t worry, let’s make it simple. First of all think about one goal, only one goal which you are determined to achieve. You always start working on that one big goal but somehow lack the determination to keep working on it. Yes, that goal which eluded you for years. Pick that one. Now, for the coming week, write down in your journal about the thoughts, emotions that you feel when you think of this big goal. This year, my big goal is to create an episode every single week. Before starting to work on this goal, I sat down and wrote in my journal for weeks why I want to start the podcast. What is my why? I wrote down how I will feel after I publish an episode? What is my motive of even creating a podcast? Right now, don’t think logistic, how will you make time for the actions to take for achieving the goal. Just do the internal work first. Think of all your values, motivations, even the triggers that might deviate you from your progress. Once you have enough data, you will realize how serious and sincere you are about this goal. There might be a case that you realize that this goal was not really what you want, you were just trying to achieve it because of some external factors like someone else was doing it and it looked like a good idea to pursue it yourself at that time or you were trying to achieve this goal just to please someone or you will realize that this does not align with your values. But most of the time, you will understand how passionate you are about this goal. Writing it down on a piece of paper makes it real, tangible. Now that you know your why, it will be easier for you to be determined to do the work. It is absolutely important to understand your thought process so that you can work on your goal. Always remember, determination is a personal choice to achieve a goal and motivation is an outside force. Determination comes from within and motivation is always external. You need both. With motivation you will be able to start your journey but without determination you will never be able to continue. Motivation is like magic, when you see someone train hard for their marathon, you get a desire to work hard yourself. But as far as determination goes, if you know why you want to train hard, you don’t need a desire, you train no matter what. That is the reason you absolutely need to know why to be determined. Alright, now that you know your why, it is time to think about how.

Delayed Gratification

Always, play by your strength. Know your weaknesses but don’t glorify them instead use your strengths to get past the weaknesses. What actions do you need to take if you have to stay determined to achieve your goal? First and foremost, do not fall in the trap of instant gratification. Consider a simple example. Let’s imagine that you have signed up for a morning yoga class. You know you feel amazing after taking that class but still every time, your alarm rings at 5.00 am in the morning, you hit the snooze button. The comfort of a warm, cozy blanket and little more sleep seems more tempting, more lucrative. You give in and sleep some more and totally miss that class. Then, when you wake up , you feel terrible for hitting that snooze button, for not waking up, for not going to that class , for breaking the promise that you made with yourself. You forgo your habit, your future for less rewarding but more immediate benefit. Instead of working on a long term goal, you gave in for a small reward. It was just a momentary pleasure, isn’t it? That’s what is instant gratification, my friend. How many times do you choose to eat a piece of cake instead of a fruit just because it seemed like a good idea at the time? How many times do you just binge watch TV instead of reading a book, just because it felt more relaxing at the time, even though you have already watched that show many times? I am sure you feel guilty, unmotivated after the moment has actually passed. Am I correct? Don’t worry, I am here to help. There are ways to get out of this instant gratification trap and focus more on delayed gratification. Simple way is to focus on long term goals. Keep those goals written in bold somewhere noticeable. Keep looking at them and remind yourself that you are in here for a long haul and you are determined to achieve those goals. I use a trick whenever I feel tempted to give in for a short term temptation. I wait for 30 minutes, I try to work on something meanwhile. Most of the time, I forget about that urge in those 30 minutes but sometimes, if I still feel the urge, I give myself grace and make a wise choice. Getting into the habit of the delayed gratification gives you more control on your life. Instant gratification is a habit but delayed gratification is a learned skill. If you learn that skill, you will be more determined to achieve your goal. If you want to get closer to your goal and somehow you derail your progress in between or distract yourself in between, delayed gratification will help you. If you start practicing delayed gratification, you will remain more focused on your long term goal. You are more likely to overcome the impulse to eat junk and remain more determined to get closer to the healthy body that you desire.

Be Fearless

Determination comes from the position of strength, you need to be fearless, be completely in love with your goal. It has to be on your mind 24*7. Let your dream know how badly you want it. I am not saying that you have to be stressed out about your goal. But if your goal is not big and scary then it’s not big enough. If you can’t dedicate yourself to pursue your goal, then you are not determined enough. It has to be part of your life, your thoughts, your dreams then you will get closer to that goal, am I correct? Do you tell your kids to give their 100% for their studies, think about what they learn and apply it everywhere. Shouldn’t it be the same for us? Give your 100%to your goal, learn the skills necessary to get closer to your goal and then apply those skills every single day. Determination is not something you learn in one day, you have to make it a habit to acquire small skills which are required to build the determination. It might be assessing your why, or learning delayed gratification or becoming fearless. As William Faulkner said, “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” You have to be fearless to be determined. But, I think it is extremely important to practice proper habits, and routines to build the determination needed to get closer to your goal. Believe yourself, you can do it.

Work past the Obstacles

One more thing that you can do to be more determined is ignore the things which are not in your control, instead work past them. There are things which are beyond your control and it is best to find the best possible alternative. If you start stressing about the things which are beyond your control, your negative emotions become more profound. Then, it starts the negative cycle. Your negative emotions lead to the actions which you will regret. Just imagine, you have a goal to run for a marathon, you are determined to practice for it every day. But today, when you wake up, you see it's pouring out there and you are sad and feel defeated as you broke your streak of running everyday. You start stressing yourself out. What do you think you should do? Should you keep blaming yourself or start finding other ways to get your workout done? Maybe a quick cardio workout at home or go for a run after the rain stops. Just imagine, instead of working around this small obstacle, you just get demotivated, blame yourself and really break your streak by just giving up. Isn’t it better to wake up with determination and then go to bed with satisfaction? Of course, it is important to take a break and recharge. Determination does not ask you to become a robot, it does not mean you should ignore signals from your mind and body, instead it is listening even more carefully and figure out what is that your mind, body really want? Is it instant gratification or a break so that we can keep up with the long term goal?

That reminds me of another way to keep your dose of determination always flowing. It is revisiting the long term goals. We are coming to the end of the year and I know most of us write down a list of new year resolutions on January 1st and then follow them for a day or two, or maybe a week or two and then totally forget about them till next January. Why do you think this happens for most of us? We lack the determination and why do we lack the determination? Because, we don’t revisit those resolutions, we don’t keep them in front of us as visual reminders, we don’t adjust them based on our current season of life. There are many simple ways to keep these visual reminders right in front of our eyes. Put a picture of yourself in your best shape to remind yourself how you want to look and feel. Display the pictures of important people in your life, your family, friends on your desk if your goal this year is to spend more time with your loved ones. This will constantly remind yourself what is the important thing in your life? What are you ultimately working for every day? You will be the person you want to be if you are determined to be that person, righ? Your long term goals require the fuel of small, baby steps and your strong determination. It is very simple my friends, keep your eyes on big, long term goals, even if you make a mistake, think it as a mistake not a failure and get back on track and just move forward. Determination will give you the strength to overcome these mistakes, and help you pass these roadblocks with your dedication and commitment. Mistakes are proof that you are trying. Just think of these long term goals as the journey, you need to choose a pace that is needed to achieve these goals. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds, you need to give yourself time , required time to achieve this goal in the most healthy way, right? But as the goal gets bigger and bolder, you need more time to achieve it. The more time you need, the more determination you need along the way. Jesse Ownes, four time Olympic gold medalist once said, that “We all have dreams. But in order to make these dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, efforts and self discipline. “ Isn’t it absolutely true? Dreams don’t come true by magic, it takes a lot of determination and hard work.

Be determined to achieve the best life for yourself and for your loved ones. Always, trust you are worth all these efforts. We are almost to the end of this year, the year of unpredictable, the year of challenges. Do not wait for January 1 to list down your resolutions instead use these remaining days to lay the ground for goals which you want to achieve. This is your time my friend, to live your best life. Be determined to live the best life, be determined to achieve that big, beautiful dream, be determined to become the best version of yourself today and everyday. Let’s just decide today, to stop saying I wish and instead say I will.

Recap

On this note, let’s recap today’s episode. Today I was determined to leave you with so much motivation that you will feel this boost of energy the entire day. I want you to be determined, focused on your goal, your own big, beautiful, scary goal, just be determined to achieve it. We discussed how writing down your big why helps you clarify your vision. Knowing your why is the first step taken towards a strong determination. Taking actual actions by changing your small habits and routines is the second step, whereas practicing delayed gratification keeps you on a path of consistent determination. Life is full of obstacles, there are challenges, distractions but, we have to learn how to work past them and that is what will teach us how to keep the determination up and high even in tough times. Finally, starting now, without waiting for everything to be perfect is the final step of inculcating determination. So my friends, it is time to get to work and work hard , work consistently and enjoy the ride. Always, always remember, the difference between impossible and possible lies between the person’s determination.

Alright, time to take a leave my friends. But today I want you to listen to one of my incredible listeners. She is the perfect example of grace, beauty, talent and determination. She always listens to the episodes and gives me feedback that I always appreciate so much. Today, she wants to share her thoughts and journey with you. Listen to me podcast episode, if you want to listen to Surabhi's review. Just head over to podcast page here on the website.

Thank you so much Surabhi for this. I am so grateful for this amazing review. I am so thankful to have you in my life as a friend, family and of course listener.

Alright my friends, if you want to be part of the show just like Surabhi, send me your reviews on morningcupofsunshine@gmail.com. I would love to feature you here. Bye my friends, have a great week! Be happy, be determined and spread some joy, positivity and sunshine around you!


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