There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.
— Ella Wheeler Wilcox
I was once told I was determined. My ex-husband pointed out that determination was a skill I had inherited from my parents, immigrants from Turkey who came to the United States in the 1960s.
I never thought of determination as a skill, and I took for granted the determination it took for my parents to give up life they knew and leave behind family and friends to come to the United States. But in that moment when my ex-husband pointed that out, I realized he was right.
My father has shown more determination than anyone I know. He came from nothing—to say he was dirt poor was no exaggeration. He owned only two shirts, which he washed every night after wearing so he could alternate them. At nine years old, he sold Turkish simits (ringed sesame bread) on the streets. He had no money to continue his education but was determined to go to college. He worked hard, studied hard, and gained a scholarship to go to college—a year early.
After college, he was determined to get a good job, get married, and have a family. Despite the class difference, he never gave up on trying to marry my mom. (She said no at first.) Then he was determined to have a great career and provide something more for his family. He worked hard, studied, and gained a scholarship for graduate school at West Virginia University. It was there that my father—while raising and supporting his family—was awarded not one but two masters degrees in three years.
Then he was determined to get his PhD. I think mainly because he wanted to be called “doctor.” Whatever his reasons, he again worked hard and gained his PhD after two years. He got a great job at Inland Steel in research, and it was there he developed all kinds of patents for how to manufacture steel and cut down on pollution. My father was considered somewhat of an expert in environmental issues with steel, coal, and mining manufacturing.
If I have even 1/16th of my dad’s determination, I’ll get a lot done. So, yeah, I’ll take determination as one of my skills. And on days like today, 1/16th of that determination will get me far.
Make it a great week!
(Image found here.)