Desperation Versus Determination

I believe in the power of words, and I also believe in the power of positive energy; therefore, it’s not surprising that I believe it’s important to focus our language–and thus our lives– in a positive direction. That’s why I’m starting a new feature on the blog, Words to Live By, which will attempt, through language, to give us a way to turn some negative aspects of our lives into positive ones.

Similar But Vastly Different

When either desperate or determined, we have no control over the outcome–we don’t currently have what we want and whether we get it isn’t up to us; however, desperation is living passively and hopelessly, and determination is living actively and confidently.


We have all desperately wanted something, whether we desperately wanted a relationship to work out, desperately wanted a particular job, or  desperately wanted to lose weight. I’m talking about true desperation, not just wanting something that would make your life better as long as it’s convenient.

This is the only person who will make me happy, and I know I’ll never be happy if this doesn’t work out.

This is the perfect  job for me, and if I don’t get it, I will have wasted the years of preparation leading to this moment–it will all be gone, and another opportunity like this will never come my way.

I am overweight, unhealthy, and unattractive, and if I don’t do something about it, I’ll always hate myself.

We’ve all felt that desperation, and we’ve all felt that heavy, torturous hopelessness and lack of power that comes with it. It’s a paralyzing feeling as you wait for someone or something to decide your fate. It prevents you from controlling your own life.

That’s no way to live, and perhaps more important, it’s no way for you to get what you want. My recommendation is that you turn desperation into determination.


A determined person focuses on what he wants and commits to doing whatever he needs to do in order to get it.  I’m talking about a sincere, focused commitment to a specific goal, not wishing that things were different as long as it’s easy.

I hope this relationship works out, but I’m determined to find a way to be happy regardless, either with someone else or by myself. No man or woman is going to decide whether I’m happy.

I’ve worked too hard and too long for me not to find a job that satisfies all of my needs, and I’m going to find it even if it takes until the day before I retire. This one job isn’t going to make or break my career.

I’ve made a lot of poor choices in my life, but I’m going to love myself today and commit to whatever changes I need to make in order to be healthy.

We’ve all felt the feeling of true determination–and the sense of hope and power that comes with it. We know what we want, and nothing is going to stop us. It’s a great feeling.

Desperation or Determination

When faced with something that we want and have no control over whether we get it, we can be desperate or determined. It’s a choice.


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1 Response to Desperation Versus Determination

  1. As a former therapist, I support this!

    One thing I learned in clinical hypnosis training is that the unconscious mind hears primary words. For example, if I say, “I’ll never eat bad food again,” it hears, “bad food.” if I replace it with, “I’ll only eat good food,” it hears “good food.”

    There’s also an interview in the May issue of The Sun with researcher Barbara Fredrickson on cultivating positive emotions: The Science of Happiness. As you’ve indicated, language is key to how we interpret the world.

    Barbara’s websitehas an online tool to help us manage and increase our happiness quotient.

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