THE ROOT OF DETERMINATION is deter,
which originally meant to frighten from. It means to set
limits using fear or doubt. You deter your kid from going into
the street with fear, for example.
When you deter yourself from getting sidetracked
or interrupted or blocked from your goal, you are determined.
You are demonstrating determination. And determination
is a powerful force.
The reason water comes out the end of a
hose with such force is that the water is deterred from going
in any other direction. The hose itself deters the water. It
limits the water from going in every direction except one.
This tells us something practical about
determination. To increase your own determination you would increase
your firmness in maintaining the set limits. You would
block other outlets for your force, and by doing so, you would
become a force to be reckoned with.
Another word with the same root is deterioration
which means to make worse. In practical terms, it means
indulging in those sidetracks and interruptions rather
than fearfully turning away from them. A hose that has deteriorated
has leaks in it. The water coming out the end has lost some of
When you set a goal, what will help you
achieve that goal? Duct-taping the holes in your hose. Turning
away (with fear) from things that leak out your force. For example,
turning off the phone. Turning off the TV. Turning away from
temptations and indulgences. Focusing your attention on your
You could just let water flow where
it naturally goes. It will flow downhill randomly, following
the lay of the land, following the path of least resistance,
and it will end up at the lowest level, where it will pool and
stagnate. If there is a particular destination you prefer,
the work of getting there is the work of blocking the water from
flowing in any other direction blocking your energy, attention,
effort from going in any other direction than toward your goal.