Minimalism and Determination
Determination is not what comes to mind when you think about minimalism. But to be a good minimalist, it takes determination. We all have to fight the inborn desire to acquire more and more things. When you cut out the excess “stuff” you have more free time. You have less to keep up with, and your expenses are lowered. A few weeks back, we discussed how Resilience is important to have success in life. Today I want to discuss another word that all of us should learn and strive to make part of our day-to-day mindset.
If we can get this attribute into our daily action steps, believe me, it will allow us to have a more consistent life. I want to talk about the word: Determination.
The dictionary defines determination as:
As a Christian, almost daily you will be stretched to your limit and face adversity. Can you quickly recover from hard times? We can when we have faith in God. When we ask God for faith, he has promised to give us the desires of our heart.
Who in the bible was the ultimate example of determination besides our Savior Jesus Christ? I think after Christ, the first person that comes to my mind is the apostle Paul. Here was a guy, before he got saved, that was fired up to serve God, but he didn’t do it lawfully. Until he found Christ on the Damascus Road he did a lot of things but not according to knowledge. He was a great man in the sight of man, but once he knew Christ as Lord and Savior he became a fired-up Christian.
Php 3:4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
Php 3:5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
Php 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
Php 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Php 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Paul was a man who never gave up, no matter the circumstances. He knew that God was the one who helped and guided him every day of his life. Through Christ, Paul could do all things.
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
To have determination, you will certainly need to have a lot of resilience and the ability to stick with things when things go against you. All of these things work hand in hand to make you a person who is very productive in your life. By being determined, you keep on when others quit. When you have determination, little setbacks are just those. Failure is never a failure until you quit getting back up and fighting another round.
I read about the qualities that NASA looks for in potential astronauts. The 4 attributes these men and women are required to have are:
I think we can agree that these 4 attributes are also what God desires of us who are called according to God’s purpose. If anyone should be tough-minded with a strong self-image, it should be the man or woman patterning their lives after Jesus Christ.
President Calvin Coolidge once said: Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with great talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded Genius is almost a proverb. Education will not. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence, Determination, and hard work make the difference.
Reread the last sentence slowly. Persistence, Determination, and hard work make the difference. I mentioned this next paragraph in my article about Resilience, but it is so fitting for this topic of determination.
And what goes hand in hand with determination? Absolutely it is persistence. Day after day you fight again and again. Failures come and failures go, but you don’t give up. Having mule-like determination will allow you to overcome almost any resistance you come up against.
Thomas Edison tried over 14,000 tests in trying to create the light bulb. When his assistant said after a few months, let’s give this up. It can’t be done. Edison was reported to have said, “No. We just now know over 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Robert Cavett, a great motivator, once said: “You don’t drown by falling into water, you only drown if you stay there. It’s all right to get down, but don’t get down on yourself.” All of us stumble, but resilience and determination make us keep on going when it is not going our way. We are in a battle, and we need to know how to fight a successful fight.
The great martial arts fighter Bruce Lee once said that the successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus. We need to be able to first decide what is important, and then focus on that one thing and stick with it.
As Christians, our main focus should be to live righteously before men and women at work and school. And we should always be telling others about what Christ has done for us.
1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
We must let God through the Holy Spirit guide us, and that begins by reading our bible and being in tune with God’s leadership.
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