Essay Tenacity


“Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.”

This quote is from Louis Pasteur, a famous scientist who lived in the 1800s and proved that it was not “bad air” that caused some diseases but actually microorganisms that we categorize as germs today. He also developed a vaccine for rabies, and his name is given to a method of killing germs in milk: pasteurization.

So, his secret is his tenacity, but what is it?

Now it’s your turn: Choose from the following options.
1. Look up the word tenacity in a dictionary. Write down two synonyms for tenacity or tenacious. Then write a new sentence with one of your synonyms.
2. Are you tenacious? If you are, write your story about a time when you showed tenacity.
3. If you were to define yourself by one characteristic, which one would you choose? Write your story about a time when you exhibited this particular trait or characteristic.

Copyright © 2016 by Sharon Watson
Photo credit: B. Stefanov /
Image credit: Sharon Watson

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by Jayaram V

In the end determination is what carries you towards your goals.

Determination connotes the strength or tenacity of your mind to sustain and carry out your will power and translate your dreams and desires into reality. It is the ability of your mind to remain focused upon your cherished goals and pursue them with vigor and perseverance. Determination is what makes you move forward in life, despite the problems and challenges and the harsh realities of our complex world. Without determination, human beings would have perished long ago, and perhaps most life forms.

Determination is one of Nature's mysterious mechanisms, which is not confined to humans only. Animals also show great determination to protect themselves from enemies and threats and survive against odds. There is no doubt that determination is embedded in advanced life forms, which keeps them life-oriented and survive in difficult and varied environments.

You may call it by any name, will power, resolve, tenacity, resilience or determination, in the end what makes the difference between success and failure is the strength of your will and the power of your determination. Some people may achieve success by luck, but most by determination only. Some people give up easily, while some fight until the end.

In human beings it appears that determination is deeply ingrained as part of our survival instinct and self-expression. However, it may not equally manifest in all due to various influences. We can see that people vary in their determination to pursue their goals and desires. Some people easily give up, and some go to the end. Some people do not try at all, while some never give up until they finish what they start.

Such differences are mainly due to the differences in their thinking and attitude and due to various intrinsic and extrinsic factors, such as beliefs, social and cultural influences, fear, self-esteem, the strength of the desires, the rewards or the pay off involved, etc. It suggests that while determination may a part of your natural instinct to survive, it may also be learned and sustained by conscious effort and changing your thinking and attitude.

Your determination depends upon how strongly you desire anything. The stronger your desires, the greater is the strength of your determination. Fear is a major inhibiting factor, which intrinsically effects your determination, while many extrinsic factors may either facilitate or inhibit your determination to achieve anything.

You may mistake determined people often as stubborn or obstinate, which is true only if they pursue their goals ignoring the consequences or the reality of the situation, or if they set unrealistic goals and refuse to listen to their own reason. Otherwise, determination is a desirable trait. It is virtue which everyone must cultivate.

Determined people are mostly successful people. They stand out as tough leaders who finish what they begin. Determination is a double edged sword which cuts both ways. It may be used to pursue both good and evil ends. Some people are determined to do evil and live selfishly ignoring the pain and suffering they cause to others by their actions.

The Bhagavad-Gita considers such resolve evil and demonic, arising from the dark nature of human consciousness. In the end it does no good to anyone and should be avoided. That resolve is good which does not resort to evil methods and does not lead to negative consequences. The following article, which is partially reproduced here was originally published in my book Think Success. It does not speak about how to cultivate determination, but its importance in life and in accomplishing tasks

How determination helps

The most important and direct consequence of determination is the power of focus. Perseverance, or the will to continue in the face of adversity, is another. Faith in your goals and your abilities stems from your determination. Discipline and determination go together. Without discipline and self-control it is difficult to stick to a path of action and pursue it until the end. You can also strengthen your resolve by constantly remembering your goals or your purpose.

Your determination greatly depends upon the strength of your desires or how badly you need something, the clarity of your goals, the sense of purpose and your mental attitude. It also depends upon your endurance for pain and suffering and your ability to manage ambiguity and uncertainty. Determined people strengthen their resolve when things are not going in their favor. They may be flexible in their plans but remain focused upon their goals until they achieve them. If there is one quality you should choose to achieve success in your life, it is your will or resolve.

Suggestions for Further Reading

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