You Don’t Need Determination

My mind wonders back to a luminous image, “Yes, we can!” shouts a determined Barack Obama to a sea of hopeful followers. Before sitting down to blog yesterday, I jotted “I’m determined to create a new reality for myself in 2011, ‘cause God knows, 2010 sucked!”

My intention was to write an entry that inspired me (and maybe you) to get on with the business of recreating life, the subtitle of this blog. Determination seemed like a logical place to start. In my quest to identify meaningful quotes to add to my writing, I pulled an old book off the shelf appropriately titled “Creating”, by Robert Fritz. I flipped opened a page, discovering a section heading which ironically challenged my premise…You Don’t Need Determination. “I should have known better,” I smirked. The words rang true…

Determination is a short-term motivational manipulation that is designed to overcome inertia, procrastination, and ineptitude. The power of determination runs out awfully fast….You cannot build momentum based on determination or through other forms of willpower manipulations.

Obama’s determination may have helped him get elected to the presidency, but sadly, it hasn’t lifted people out of difficult times. Motivational rhetoric is a useless tool in building momentum for change. Sure, it might pump us up for a day or two, and even help someone get off his or her butt to vote. But in reality, taking action without taking time to determine what you really want and where you really are will get you nowhere really fast.

Taking time – time to explore, to dream and to describe, not just where we’re headed, but where we are in the present moment – is essential to our creative process. Most folks realize the importance of envisioning what they want, but few, according to Fritz, describe what they currently have in relationship to the result they want. With determination, we drive toward change, focusing on what’s yet to take form without consideration of what currently exists. In this place, there’s nothing to ground us and no tension to resolve between where we are and where we’d like to be. Movement becomes arbitrary without a beginning and an end.

Over the next few months I will be blogging about the creative process as defined by Robert Fritz. I know without a doubt that this framework works amazingly well, so it’s time to apply it to my life once again. If you’d like to create new realities for yourself in 2011, please join me here to apply the process to your life. I’d love the company!

4 thoughts on “You Don’t Need Determination

  1. Such an excellent blog for you to start, Phyllis. Congratulations on earning your Master’s, on coming face-to-face with your current struggles, and having the self-knowledge to turn to those who love you. Very impressive, and good writing, too.

    Personally, I gave up new year resolutions long ago. I hear what you’re saying about “taking time to determine what you really want,” and that’s why I starting stating New Year’s Desires. My closest friends do the same. And it’s fun to be asked: so what are your desires for the year? To go to the beach! Now isn’t that better than “to lose 10 pounds”?

    Cheers and best wishes,

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