I have a saying over my desk–It’s not how good you are. It’s how bad you want it.
- mystery author Denise Swanson in interview with Diane Plumley
Performers, politicians – yes, I do believe that determination can count for more than talent in many of life’s endeavors. How determined are you? How hard are you willing to work? Are you stubborn enough?
There is another aspect to determination, and that is being determined not to go for what you want. Two years ago I decided to forgo coffee for the six-week period of Lent. Some of my friends thought I was crazy. “Why would you put yourself through it?” This year I raised the stakes: coffee, alcohol, and potato chips! Not a sip, not a chip! I’ve passed the halfway mark now and still in the race.
My husband asked the Why question, adding the obvious (to him) qualifier, “since you’re not religious.” I knew why I was doing it but had to think about how to articulate my reason to him. Okay, here goes: “It’s a way of demonstrating to myself that I’m not a slave to these things. I can live without them.” He nodded. He wouldn’t do it himself, but he could see what I meant.
Morning is the hardest time of day. I still get up first and still make coffee – for him. I just don’t have any.
The easiest aspect to this imposed self-denial is knowing that it’s only for a time-limited period. It’s like giving up doughnuts during pregnancy. Saying “No, thank you” for a set number of weeks or months really isn’t that hard.