Invincible Determination

An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men.” ~ Thomas Fuller

How determined are you to leave a legacy of blessing, encouragement and inspiration? Does the adjective “invincible” best describe your determination or would it be better described as “better than average” or “needs improvement?” These questions must be answered and any deficiencies must be remedied if you are to have the wherewithal to live an uncommon life.

Success does not favor those who lack determination. While out on a hunt yesterday afternoon a young Jagdterrier/Beagle helped our hawks chase down squirrels. One of the squirrels eluded my friend’s hawk and ensconced himself inside of a large hollowed out tree. The puppy, Maggie, dug furiously under the tree, chewing away parts of the tree roots that blocked the way and any attempt to distract her from her self-prescribed mission were utterly futile.

We followed the hawk to another tree down the hill when she gave up on the hidden squirrel, and Maggie rejoined the hunt several minutes later. The hawk finally caught a squirrel and Maggie ran up to the scene, sniffed the squirrel, likely realized that the hawk wasn’t going to share and then ran back to the tree some 100 yards away. She recommenced her dig and I have to say it was one of the finest examples of determination next to a hawk’s chase of its prey I have ever witnessed. A very good sign in such a young hunting dog.

On a related note, you may have heard the story of the chicken and the pig. It outlines the difference between those who are just involved versus those who commit themselves fully in any and every situation. The story has many variants, one of which goes as follows:

A pig and a chicken are walking down a road. The chicken looks at the pig and says, “Hey, why don’t we open a restaurant?” The pig looks back at the chicken and says, “Good idea, what do you want to call it?” The chicken thinks about it and says, “Why don’t we call it ‘Ham and Eggs’?” “I don’t think so,” says the pig, “I’d be committed, but you’d only be involved.

Most people are commitment-phobic at some level or another. They dread giving themselves fully to a process, for fear of loss, fear of failure and more often than you would imagine, for fear of success. If you are interested in living an uncommon life, you are wise to remember that determination is the fuel of commitment, but taken too far, determination morphs into obsession. Determination is helpful, but obsession is almost always destructive to those who give up balance and reasonableness in pursuit of a goal.

If determination is in fact the quality that lies between smallness and greatness, then greatness is within reach of each and every person on earth.

9 thoughts on “Invincible Determination

  1. jaymorrow

    Determination is the measure of a persons commitment to themselves. Without it you’re a dreamer and with it, it can be the tipping point for success.
    Great post.


  2. Doug

    I’d like to add to my interview questions, “Are you a chicken or a pig?”. It would be advantageous but I’m sure I’d be breaking some law.


  3. Kai Newell

    Great post, Gregg! I was reminded of your post on the poem “Invictus”. You could also call today’s post “unconquerable determination”!


  4. Ed Barnes, Sr.

    Sounds like a great day out in the woods. I have enjoyed the posts on your falconry blog ( It’s fascinating – keep sharing!


  5. Kam

    It is useful to note the difference between determination and obsession. The former will get you to the goal in a noble fashion, with the staying power and building materials ready to go for the next level. The latter ends in crash and burn even if it seems like on the surface the goal is achieved. Some may described “negative” or “positive” obsession, but determination rightly describes the commitment to the path of integrity without the imbalance that usually accompanies any form of obsession. Great topic today!


  6. Colin

    Those are two anecdotes that really capture what determination is all about. Determination, like all things, should be balanced. Without determination, you’ll change like the wind, and quit at the slightest obstacle. It is really a necessary quality to find success, because without it, you will never do anything long enough to be truly successful anyway.


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