The Power of Determination

Stories that show how far you can go with determination

What is determination?

Determination. This one word can just be the key to everything. It does not just mean,“a quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult,” it is so much more. As there are branches that make up something there are characters that take up determination. Having an intention and acting on it is two different things. In order to have determination you must be extremely focused to do whatever it takes including failure, without giving up. Saying that you are determined is very different than acting on it. You can claim that you are very focused to do something but it would not be the same as determination. You know if someone has this characteistic if they do everything in their power to achieve their goal. I feel that the most important attributes to determination is having both patience and hardwork. If you originally work very hard to achieve something or grow the capacity to put your fullest potential, you have determination or you would not have put so much effort. You need patience to be determined because achieving a desire is a long term thing and not something that comes easy no matter what it is. Patience is directly connected with being determined for both is something you need.


Click to learn the proven power of determination.


The Sticker

Before I moved to Naperville, I lived in Buffalo Grove for almost all of my life. The standards in my school were very high as well as the expectations. From a young age the teachers jobs were to drill you to reach your fullest potential. As a child, even in the first grade, the teachers had high expectations and would challenge students at higher levels. I had difficulty coping with the level for a very long time. I would struggle and get bad grades. My mother would always make me sit down over the weekends and make me do extra practice at home, but my heart was never in it. I would not care that much for grades. This went on all the way up to third grade when I noticed that my best friend was always being pulled out of class to a gifted program. At first I didn't notice nor care, but I realized this has been going on for some time. I noticed how the teacher would call on her all the time and adored her answers, I noticed how students would look up to her and ask her for help, I noticed how she would always get perfect grades, and I noticed, on the top of all her papers were stickers of all shapes and sizes. I realized I also wanted all that she had; I wanted a sticker and the solution to my problem was the amount of effort I was putting in. So starting from that weekend my mom didn't have to beg me to sit down and do extra practice for my multiplication and addition. I did it myself. Every Monday and indoor recess me and my friend would sit down and she would teach me tricks and shortcuts to what we were learning. It was not easy. Every once and a while I would refuse to study because I was frustrated but sooner or later I would always pick up and start again. My grades was definitely improving but the teacher still didn’t recommend me to the higher level and I began to grow restless. What was the point of studying so hard when I was still in the lower level? My determination level was just about zero when one day I sat down with my friend and I told her I was ready to give up. She said 2 words that changed my mind, “Be patient.” And so I was. The entire third AND fourth grade I worked so hard to be the best in my class. Even though I had my friends help and support the entire way I always felt she was the greatest competition. It was the beginning of fifth grade when my teacher pulled me out of the class and told me in the hallways that she recommended me to the higher class with my friend. I was overjoyed even though I knew I had to work twice as hard. At the end of the year we took a placement test for middle school. I had gotten into honors and advanced for both math and language-arts. And the very top of my placement results was a smiley face sticker.

Novak Djokovic Made by Determination
Novak Djokovic grew up in a poor area and didn't have much, but he had his dreams. His dreams and determination to achieve it.

No Feet, Huge Success

The story of Amy Purdy is really an interesting and inspiring tale of how one event can change and define your life forever. At only the age of 19 she was diagnosed with Neisseria meningitidis. The doctor had given Amy only a 2% chance of living; the disease affected her circulatory system and when the infection caused septic shock leading to both of her legs to be amputated below the knee. She lost both kidneys, and her spleen was removed. Even through these tragic adversities she managed to live, she managed to survive. But for months did she hide from the world not wanting to face reality. Finally, slowly she began to realize she could not be miserable forever and she missed her normal hobby; snowboarding. She wanted to take control of her life again and do what she wanted, not allowing her fake feet get in the way. It was seven months after her leg prosthetic when she tried snowboarding again. Obviously because of having no feet it was difficult and she failed. But she was determined and she tried again and again until she succeeded snowboarding. Falling so sick, coming so near to death as well as loosing her feet caused her to learn valuable lessons; determination can get you whatever you wish for as long as you put your mind to it. This is something that she will for sure hold on her entire life. This is something we all can learn from. This is the power of determination.

Glenn Cunningham's Life Story

Glenn, only a young boy, faced do much but never ever yielded against his adversity's leading him to go so far. Learn his life story and all the ups and downs he had to face.

The Spark Of Determination

Glenn Cunningham, a boy of only eight years old faced a huge adversity but stood his ground with great determination. Around 1917, Glenn was in the middle of a huge schoolhouse fire. He barely made it out alive with major burns on the bottom half of his body. It was almost a certain fact that he would not be able to live another day. The doctors were wrong, not only did he live but he was determined to walk with his burned and crippled legs again. It was 1919, one and a half years after the accident, when he first attempted to walk again. It took great difficulty to even lift himself. When he tried, like expected, he failed. Even through failure he did not give up. Instead everyday he would drag himself across his fence trying to develop feeling in his leg. After great effort, failure, hard work and most of all the determination for succeeding, he took his first steps exactly 22 months after the accident. Even though he was able to walk again he was not satisfied, he proceeded to teach himself how to run. Years later after much practice he set a record for his high school and moved on to College. By sophomore year,he ran the 1,500 meter race at the 1932 Olympics, but finished in fourth place due to a cold. In senior year, he set a world record for the mile of 4:06.8 and held seven of the top 13 fastest recorded times for the mile. Clearly at the end he held memorable titles and fully accomplished his goal; walking but also running with his burned legs. This all fell in place the day he decided he was going to do everything he could to get the feelings back in his legs; the day he was determined.

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The Smallest Dragon-boy

The story, "The Smallest Dragonboy," by Anne McCaffrey illustrates the great effect and result of one who has the character of determination as well as one who does not. The two characters, Keeven and Beterli are alike as well as different in multiple ways. Both wanted a dragon very badly and both qualified to be a dragonrider. Yet only one succeeded. Keeven worked twice as hard as any of the other boys to achieve the dream he had longed for so long. He put effort which is something that is directly connected to determination. If you put full effort into something, as Keevan did, you clearly have determination. This is something that Beterli did not have, he relied on his ego and believed he was better than everybody when he did not have one noble quality. Although they share the desire to be a dragonrider that is not all to success. You need desire but up also need to work hard or in other words have determination. Keevan had this but Beterli did not, resulting in failure.


  • McCaffrey, Anne, and Linda Albritten. The Smallest Dragonboy. Greystones, Ireland: Dragonhold, 1974. Print.
  • "The Power Of Determination | Celestine Vision." Celestine Vision. N.p., 17 Mar. 2015. Web. 27 May 2015.
  • "The Power of Determination (true Story)." Motivation RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2015.
  • "Living beyond Limits." Amy Purdy:. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2015.
  • "Novak Djokovic Made by Determination." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 27 May 2015.
  • "Login | Piktochart." Login | Piktochart. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2015.

By: Madihah Binti Samad

Student of Scullen Middle School