Determination

Perhaps now a somewhat more basic characteristic – determination.

The word means two things – first, to decide something – in science we do experiments to determine the answer. Deciding what to do is certainly an aspect of this characteristic – it is the part that needs a moral compass to guide us. But the word also means grit, tenacity, simply seeing things through.

We know this is an ancient characteristic because it has its own ‘saying’ – who has not heard that ‘he’s good when he puts his mind to things’. And seeing things through matters. Whether it be the 20 mile march of Antarctic explorers or something more everyday getting to the end of something without giving up is crucial. Yet we give up all the time and we usually do so by pretending we didn’t want to be doing the thing anyway. The chap running for the bus gently slowing to a walk as it pulls off and pretending he did not want to catch it. Not revising well so that you have a ready excuse for failure in exams.

Decide what matters, have a plan, see it through. Finally, don’t think forĀ  a moment that determination is plodding, boring, lacking flair. Instead it is what allows those moments of brilliance, whilst keeping on course. We can be both creative and determined.