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“It is a psychological law that whatever we desire to accomplish we must impress upon the subjective or subconscious mind; that is, we must register a vow with ourselves, we must make our resolution with vigor, with faith that we can do the thing we want to do; we must register our convictions with such intensity that the great creative forces within us will tend to realize them. Our impressions will become expressions just in proportion to the vigor with which we register our vows to accomplish our ambitions, to make our visions realities” (Orison Swett Marden).
NOT MANY OF THE GOOD THINGS IN LIFE GET DONE UNLESS SOMEBODY DECIDES TO DO THEM. Decisiveness is often the difference between those who make a positive contribution to the world and those who don’t. But doing good requires more than simple decisiveness: in addition to making decisions, we have to make them stick. To finish what we start, we have to have the thing called “resolve.”
Deliberation. To deliberate means to “consider” something, and that which is done deliberately is done “on purpose.” Since commitments carelessly entered into are often hastily broken, being more deliberate is always the first step in learning to be resolute. Before making decisions to act, we must consider them more carefully.
Earnestness. Having carefully decided to make a decision, we must make it earnestly, with real determination and firmness of purpose. As Orison Swett Marden put it, we must “register a vow with ourselves.” Our purposes will be realized “just in proportion to the vigor with which we register our vows to accomplish our ambitions.”
Finality. Being resolute means making a commitment, and there is a difference between making a commitment and “giving it a try.” The person who acts with resolve is the one who knows how to add finality to his or her intentions. Changes may be made as needed, but resolute people are not merely at the mercy of every wind that blows.
When we fail to accomplish our objectives, our failure is more often due to a lack of resolve than a shortage of luck or good fortune. It isn’t circumstances that hold us back, nor is it the difficulty of the goal itself. Usually, it’s our unwillingness to back up our decisions with intense purpose. We try to do things without resolving to do them.
“We have more ability than willpower, and it is often an excuse to ourselves that we imagine that things are impossible” (François de la Rochefoucauld).