Reflections on Grit & Determination

by Orly Wahba

As I was browsing through quotes focused on the concept of determination, one stood out.
“A great book begins with an idea; a great life, with a determination.” ~Louis L’Amour

So why does determination lead to a great life. For that matter, what does a great life mean? For me, a great life is a life of purpose, one that leaves a mark, makes an impact and influences for the good. The extent of that impact can be determined in many ways. You don’t need to be a famous allstar to lead a life of purpose. Each of us create impact whether we think so or not. Impact is oftentimes associated with quantity, but I disagree. A person can lead a quiet life and still impact great change. A life of meaning is less about what we do but rather who we are, how we engage in the world, how we see people.

So why does determination lead to a great life?
I think it’s based on the simple fact that when we are determined to leave our mark, to leave this world a bit better than how we entered – we are bound to stir up positivity around us. So long as one is determined – they will likely make choices that inspire, empower and motivate others to lead a life of purpose.

Why is it that we are touched when we hear the story of someone who overcame through nothing more than conviction, determination and grit? Because it ignites that part within ourselves that started out with that same determination but may have lost it somewhere along the way. It reminds us of what we can be, of what is possible if we simply believe in ourselves. The stories of the underdog are the most hailed and cherished because we see a glimmer of ourselves in that underdog. We’ve all been there at some point or another. When an underdog is thrown against the wall, he doesn’t hear the chants and support of the crowd, oftentimes he is alone and faced with a choice; give up or keep at it. We only know truly recognize an underdog once he has made it, once that determination, grit and passion have shot him to the top.

My hope for each of us is to keep our eyes peeled for the underdog in our lives and cheer them on. We don’t need to wait for someone to pass undertold tests to show our support. Instead let’s be a part of helping him rise to the top.