1. the act of coming to a decision or of fixing or settling a purpose.
2. ascertainment, as after observation or investigation: determination of a ship’s latitude.
3. the information ascertained; solution.
4. the settlement of a dispute, question, etc., as by authoritative decision.
5. the decision or settlement arrived at or pronounced.
6. the quality of being resolute; firmness of purpose.
7. a fixed purpose or intention: It is my determination to suppress vice.  

Seems to cover it all; all the bases.  #6 is, for the most part, what we commonly understand about determination.  We understand it to be that state where we are resolute and steadfast.  What we often forget or neglect is that it is truly born of discernment, diligence and decisiveness.

Daring, at its best, is the result of determination grown from discernment, diligence and decisiveness.  SingIndeed, Determination is a virtue.  It is a strength of character…  itself resulting from thoughtful and wise discernment, and the decision and commitment to follow through.  The knee jerk is foreign to Determination.  With Determination, our re-action must mean resolute action.  That requires consultation, with ourselves and/or others… in whatever time we have to do so.  Taking big actions requires making big decisions and that requires big consideration.

In a recent LINKED Post on being Determined to Navigate Change, we explored the power of Determination and character in facing change; in embracing and riding it.  Before that, we explored Facing the Crowd of Change… examining values, virtues and defining your Life Sentence™.   Change is out there; our reality… and a constant in and of itself.  Our own powerful constant can be our Determination, grounded in some simple and fundamental steps.  I have often suggested in sessions that the best path to collective or individual decision making and Determination is what I call Taking the CAR™.

  • Consult.  Here, we practice the art of conversation and the Virtue of Consideration.  Consideration itself is a virtue; that capacity to fully examine what we have as facts before us.  The first step in making any great decision is to consult… within ourselves or with others.  We must take the time to converse, consider, and discern.  This step demands the virtues of consideration and discernment.
  • Action.  This step requires decisiveness and initiative, both strengths of character.  But, it must be noted that we must add Commitment as part of this stage.  It too is a virtue.  Half hearted decisions are not worth the time and energy.  Here, we must decide, fully… no room for doubt or sabotage, conscious or unconscious.  Our decision must be wholehearted or we will never know whether its success or failure was the result of a poor decision or poor effort.  Thusly, this step requires the virtues of decisiveness, initiative, commitment and wholeheartedness to make it matter.
  • Reflection.  After considering and fully committing to the action… the follow through… we must review and reflect upon the results.  If we have indeed committed and brought everything to the table in our efforts, we can effectively examine and review results with the idea of perfecting.  This step calls for openness, excellence and truthfulness.  We must look at our efforts and results with clear eyes in order to identify our learnings along the way.

The Source of Determination.  

Determination is a matter of resolve; resolve born of effective consideration, powerful commitment and wise reflection.  No path is straight, but all paths require determination.  Determination requires consideration.  It demands it.  Commitment comes from full consideration and commitment strengthens determination.  I once heard it said that “commitment is doing the thing you said you would do when you felt committed, long after you no longer feel committed“.  That kind of Commitment comes from Determination and Determination comes from Consideration.

With that in mind and going forward in the face of the constant that is change, I suggest you build your own constant of Determination by adopting the process of Taking the CAR™:

  • Consider all the facts.
  • Make a decision and act, fully committed.
  • Reflect upon your results after doing so, to best learn.

With the BIG decisions, do this.  With any decision that has medium to longer term impact, do this.  With any decision that has significant impact in the now, do this.  Make this a habit of leadership.  Engage the team in the experience.  A process of excellence, in the face of change, is the result.   Determination does that and Determination rides in a CAR!

Drive your CAR.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™


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