Determination In School

vs. faintheartedness

Overcoming obstacles in order to reach my goal​

To practice Determination I will:

  • set goals that are right for me
  • avoid distractions
  • not allow others to discourage me
  • face problems head-on
  • see obstacles as a challenge

Core Resources

“Don’t Back Down from the Sharks”
– Jill W. Tomey

Four-mile night swims took place in the choppy waters off San Clemente Island. The instructors listed the dangers of the waters by naming the types of sharks they could meet. The deadliest was the great white shark, known to be the most aggressive man-eater in the ocean. To say that those swims were scary is an understatement.

Trainee McRaven and his swim buddy, Marc, were determined to complete the swim. It took great courage to enter the water, but they both wanted to graduate as SEALs. Believing their goal to be honorable and noble, they dug deep to find the courage and completed the swim.

The Admiral likened the sharks to the bullies that he faced in his career. One particular bully he faced was Saddam Hussein after he had been captured by US forces. The Iraqi leaders that visited his jail cell were still afraid of him. The Admiral stopped the visits from the Iraqis and visited himself instead. He did not let Saddam intimidate him on these visits. A year later, the Iraqi people hanged him for his crimes against their nation.

The Admiral’s book is based on a commencement address he gave in 2014 to the University of Texas at Austin. Students everywhere can learn to find the courage to stand up to their own bullies. He says at the end of the chapter, “Bullies are all the same; whether they are in the schoolyard, in the workplace, or ruling a country through terror. … They are like sharks that sense fear in the water. They will circle to see if their prey is struggling. … If you don’t find the courage to stand your ground, they will strike. In life, to achieve your goals, to complete the night swim, you will have to be men and women of great courage. That courage is within all of us.”

This month, how will you use Courage and Determination to stand up to the Sharks?

(All the essays this month are based on the book, Make your bed: little things that can change your life…and maybe the world by Admiral William H. McRaven (U.S. Navy retired). It is about the lessons he learned in Navy SEAL training that served him well his whole career. The training is beyond brutal to weed out the weak and give confidence to the strong. It takes strength and the ultimate Determination to make it to graduation.)

Education Pillar Resources