One thing that has really impacted my life, is the way my dad introduced me to “doing” things. Being determined meant more than simply wanting something. It made me think, “does it mean be committed?”
He believed mindset and actions went hand in hand, neither truly functioning without the other effectively. For him, I can’t help but feel like inner determination was but a starting point for him that lead to deep commitment.
One thing that has become quite odd today, is how the words determined and committed are used.
We use determination in a way that makes it appear the “be all, end all” in terms of what is needed for success and results.
The idea that determination leads to results raises the question,I feel that I am being determined…but does it mean be committed? Does it mean something else entirely?
Are we as biased individuals applying a meaning we like to a word that is used in practically every area of our lives simply because we don’t like the implications?
In this article I will be discussing some key principles as to why I believe these two words are confused with each other, and how you can use both to propel you to success!
I hope this article helps you grow internally, and perhaps even show you the shortcomings that I have discovered within myself, that I myself am working to erase from my habits.
Before I get into the deeper ideology behind this, lets look at the meaning of these words we use so loosely…
Determination… Being Determined
Interestingly, determination has several meanings, however, the one I will be discussing today is by far the most widely used.
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines the word with this:
Google search comes up with this definition:
I can conclude from these definitions that in terms of personal decision, determination, is internal, and not external.
I make that point because it is easy for me to say, “I am determined to succeed!” and thus believe that I am successful even when I am not taking action.
If you have read one of my other articles, the mindset that I am rich, financially free, and successful, should be part of our beliefs.
What I have found however, is that many people, including myself, can be deceived into thinking that “thinking” will bring me the results and success I desire…without taking action.
This will become more relevant and important as we look at the meaning of “committed”.
Before you conclude that you’ve heard all of this before, please read further, I am building the basis for my discovery, in hopes that the principle discussed will become more impactful.
I could just tell you my conclusion, but I believe presenting the facts in a more structured way will really drive my point home.
Shall we continue?…
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines the word with a significant example:
Google search brings up this:
What really strikes me, is the fact that the first example, (being the oldest here, MWD) presents the word “committed” in the context of a married couple. Each person being “committed” to each other.
Please note that I am not making this statement to offend anyone, I am simply presenting evidence that this word has a deeper and far richer connotation than that which appears at first glance.
What strikes me as significant here, is that a married couple will have said very meaningful vows to each other, signifying that they intended to be together, usually for the rest of their life. (E.g. “As long as we both shall live.”)
That is a dedication, that exceeds that of “determination”. I can be determined to stay with my spouse, but that doesn’t mean I am “committed”.
I might determine in my mind that I want to stay with someone. But am I the only one that is never always determined? When I think about someone who is determined, it’s usually an internal materialization. A materialization of one’s passion or goal that doesn’t seem to last forever.
I might be determined to work on my business on Monday, but on Tuesday, I might be tired, worn out, discouraged, and not feeling like doing anything.
Which brings me to my next point.
Feelings Don’t Matter…
So, determination is a choice, one that becomes self-evident with action, (E.g. I was determined to win level 42 of a video game, so I kept playing). But to achieve success in spite of negative or poor circumstances, this requires commitment.
The reality of these words, is that they actually go hand in hand, hence their confusion in modern use.
If I am determined that I want to be financially free, my intention shows as I work towards that.
But as I mentioned before, what about the days when all I want to do is not work?
My determination on days like that, is zero.
Determination is a conscious choice, determination requires internal resolve that I would say most do not have, especially when you aren’t motivated.
This is the difference between commitment and determination. If I am committed to something, I am resolved to do it, or stay by it, regardless of how I feel.
Determination may pass, my feelings may pass, my commitment to something stands, because I gave my word.
What does “trying” look like? If you answered with a Star Wars quote, you may very well be the chosen one, but today, even a quote from Yoda himself, widely known and quoted, is misunderstood.
There is no trying, because trying is not “doing”.
If I am determined to succeed, I will keep “doing”.
If I am committed to succeed, I will never give up.
Both are important, but my point is that many people are determined to succeed one moment, and not determined the next.
Want to know why there are so many divorces in the US? This is why.
Showing Up = Success
The key to success is showing up. How can we make Orange Juice if no one uses the blender? How can we get to work if we don’t get in our cars, or get on our computers?
Can we achieve the level of fitness we desire if we don’t work out? Is it possible to stay with our spouse if we don’t take the time to improve ourselves and grow more mature?
Being determined to do something is very important because it means we hold the resolve to achieve our goal, but without commitment, we may stop taking action or improving because our determination was based on how we felt that day.
Marriage doesn’t work that way. Money doesn’t work that way. Personal fitness doesn’t work that way.
Which brings me to my final question and most important thought:
Is my determination based on commitment; an unwavering resolve and dedication to do what I said and decided to do?
The Moment Of Truth
Actions are necessary for results, and results generally are produced from firm resolve and showing up to do something. (Determination)
Goals and desires are achieved by never giving up and always doing what I say. (Commitment)
We need both, and these aren’t the only factors when considering a person’s character, which plays the ultimate role in success. (Integrity and beliefs are examples of this)
Examples & Conclusion
Just to let you know what commitment and determination look like when used together, I woke up at 5AM today on a Saturday after working a full time job M-F, and working at least an hour a day on my business after that.
I intend to work an 8 hour shift today on my business ending at 2:15pm. (I note this not to brag; hopeful to inspire you and motivate you to succeed)
I should also note that what I am doing is not required for success. I am just aware of how much time it takes to get results, and I want those results faster. If faced with a choice between becoming financially free in a year vs. 3 years, most anyone would choose to have it in a year.
However, how many would choose to have it in a year, knowing it could take around 20 hours a week or more to accomplish that? Food for thought.
I hope this article has proven useful, and has helped you the reader in some way.
If you liked my article, let me know in the comments below, and check out my book reviews! I think you will them very useful and I have read many of them. Most if not all of them are on financial success and or personal development.
If you have any questions, feel free to submit them in the comments below and I will get back to you asap!
As always feel free to email me if you have any questions!