10 things the determined always do

Skill is important, but most success comes from persistence, tenacity, focus, and standing firm in the face of criticism. Fortunately, for those that want to achieve great things, determination is something you can develop.

Generally, determination is a quality you either have or you don’t. Sure, some people may have greater self-discipline. Some people may be better at resisting temptation. But that’s probably not because they were born with different genetics; chances are it’s because they’ve found ways to develop a determined approach to certain situations. It was learned.

Here are ten things that the mentally tough usually adhere to.

1. Assume Control

Most successful people admit that although luck may have played some part in their lives, they don’t tend to wait for good luck to happen. They position themselves, so when it does, they can take full advantage of it. This means they generally act as if success (or failure) is totally within their control. So if they succeed, they caused it, or if they fail, they caused it.

This is more liberating than one might assume, because if you don’t need to waste mental energy on worrying about what might happen, you can focus a lot more on what you want to happen. This too is why most successful people feel they are more in control of the situation because they are not just bystanders, they are pro-active participants.

2. Don’t blame others

Control is like muscle strength, the more you use it, the stronger it gets.  But trying to control too much can be counter-productive because no one can control everything.  So why waste your time on things you can’t control? And if you blame others, why worry, because if it is their fault, it can’t be in your control?

By taking control of what you can (should), means you can concentrate on what you need to do.  Whether that is making a decision. Lending a listening ear or coming up with an alternative plan of action. Your choice.   The point being, it is vital to be in charge of yourself and definitely stop trying to be in control of things you are not responsible for.

3. Make fewer choices

We all have a finite store of mental energy for exercising self-control. The more choices we make during the day, the harder each one is on our mental ‘battery’ and the more we start to look for shortcuts. Most of us recognise that when you’re tired, you’re a lot more likely to give up, with a job only half done.

What is worse, if we do over stretch ourselves, we risk getting impulsive or even reckless. We start to make decisions we know we shouldn’t make. In fact, we run out of the mental energy we need to make smart choices. That’s why it is better to be more particular about the choices we make because the fewer there are, chances are, the smarter our choices will be.

4. Say no to FOMO

For some people, they like to get involved in almost everything.  This isn’t just about control, it’s the fact that they have a Fear Of Missing Out. Micro-managing isn’t just a waste of time, it’s detrimental to business and team development. Poor management is saturated with people getting re-involved in areas that they have already delegated.

The secret is; do only what you need to in order to get to where you want to be. By all means be in charge but don’t try to make everyone else change.

5. See the past as valuable training and nothing more

The past is valuable. We learn from our experiences and mistakes. We should also learn from the mistakes of others. Then let it go.

Easier said than done? It depends on your perspective. When something goes wrong, see it as an opportunity to learn something you didn’t know. When another person makes a mistake, don’t just learn from it.  See it as an opportunity to be kind, forgiving, and supportive.

The past is just training and preparation for the future; it shouldn’t define you. Think about what went wrong but only in terms of how you will make sure that next time, you and the people around you will know how to make sure it goes right.

6. Actively celebrate the success of others

Many people, and I we all know at least a few, see others success as a lost opportunity for themselves. They feel there’s only so much to go around, so if someone else shines, it diminishes their own chance to succeed. The fact is that resentment and envy are often just excuses to not try.  These negative feelings suck up a massive amount of mental energy, energy better applied elsewhere.

When a colleague does something well, that doesn’t preclude you from doing something brilliant too. In fact, where success is concerned, birds of a feather tend to flock together, so draw smart people even closer. Don’t resent them for being smart. Create and celebrate being brilliant, wherever you find it, and in time you’ll find even more of it in yourself.

7. Never allow yourself to complain or criticise unless is constructively

Our words have power. Moaning and a negative approach to your problems always makes you feel worse, not better. So, if something has gone wrong, don’t waste too much time complaining but instead put that mental energy into making the situation better.

Don’t talk about what’s wrong, do something about it. Do the same with your friends or colleagues. If a friend needs someone to listen, listen. But if they ask for help, help.

8. Don’t try to impress others; impress yourself instead.

No one truly important to you likes you for your money, your car, your possessions, your job role or your accomplishments. Genuine relationships are built on mutual caring and you’ll only form genuine relationships when you stop trying to impress and start caring yourself.What’s more, you’ll find you have a lot more mental energy to spend on the people who really do matter.

9. Consistently review your long-term goals

Say you want to help grow the organisation; when you’re mentally under pressure, it’s easy to rationalise that you’ll do your best tomorrow, not today. Say you want to better engage with your team; when you’re are focused elsewhere, it’s easy to rationalise to yourself that you really need to concentrate on your own work today; then tomorrow you’ll worry about getting back to them.

Mental stress often leads us into taking the easy way out, even though the easy way often takes us the wrong way. That’s why it’s so important to maintain tangible reminders to pull you back from the insular mindset whenever heading for the brink.

10. It will get better

Rather than worry about what you haven’t yet achieved. Look at what you have achieved.  Take a second every night before you turn out the light and, in that moment, quit worrying about what you don’t have. Think about what you do have. It’s easier said than done, of course, and takes a lot of work to change a mind-set. Try to be kind and patient to yourself.

Feeling better about yourself is the best way of all to recharge your mental batteries. When you can think clearly you can then begin to focus and build the determination you need to take on the world.