Some people find themselves becoming victims of depression or other forms of psychological instabilities because of their failure to realize and appreciate the power of determination. When determination is propelled by the two indispensable forces of “destiny” and “God’s guidance”, man gets to where he wants and becomes what he aspires to be. With determination, a trader sooner or later becomes a merchant; a retailer becomes a wholesaler; a learner becomes scholar; and in the same wise, a cripple would reach the holy land of Makkah from any part of the world.
Purposeful determination can make positive things happen. With determination, one can successfully change from one profession to another. A classroom teacher today whose conventional trademark is chalk could tomorrow become a medical doctor. I had a female school mate while undergoing the Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE) course in the early eighties. She was in the sciences. After graduation, she took up appointment as a classroom teacher with the Niger state government and served for three years to enable her secure in-service training to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Education as a teacher. When I recently met her husband who was my lecturer while at the College of Education, I asked about his wife. But contrary to my expectations, he told me she is consulting at the Minna General Hospital. I curiously asked, “As a teacher?” (Because I only knew her as a classroom teacher). My teacher cheerfully replied, “No, as a medical doctor). “That’s wonderful”, I remarked.
The next few moments took me through an interesting narrative session during which I listened to how a teacher (female and married for that matter) who was admitted in to an undergraduate course other than which she applied for; decided to explore the power of determination, and thus, opted to abandon chalk for stethoscope. She had to wait for another academic session to enable her write the University Matriculation Examination (UME). She sat for it, passed and was admitted to read medicine beginning from 100 level. With relentless determination, she successfully completed the course. She went for houseman-ship but needed not to go for national service because she had earlier served after her NCE programme. Determination has, thus, made it possible for a classroom teacher to become a medical doctor. Who said marriage is a barrier to knowledge acquisition?
Determination can change things for the better. With it, some dark portions of history could be re-written in golden ink. An American citizen was once convicted and sentenced for an offence he was certain he never committed. After serving a jail-term of twenty-two years, the power of determination inspired him to study law at the university. After graduating as Barrister-in-law, he re-opened the case by appealing against the judgment passed on him. As a determined lawyer, he followed up the case for nearly another decade. He consequently won the case and was paid all the damages he claimed. That’s the work of determination. It was also with unbroken determination that Nelson Mandela led South Africa to independence. His 27 years of confinement within prison walls did not dissuade him. Failure in elections, too, did not weaken Abraham Lincoln’s determination from aspiring to become the President of the United States of America. A determined individual does not look at how long it takes to get to the desired destination. What matters most is how to get there.
It was determination that kept Prophet Nuhu (AS) to be preaching the word of Allah (SWT) for 950 years even though only a few from among his people believed in his message. Determination guided the prophet Muhammad (SAW) to conquer the unbelievers of Makkah where he had to migrate from (due to persecutions) ten years earlier. As a man of faith, you should always be determined over any matter, and leave the rest of it to Allah (SWT). All you need is to remain committed to the cause of set goals or targets. However, for determination to take us to coveted destinations, it requires us to put our trust wholly in Allah (SWT), the most Beneficent. He (SWT) states in Qur’an 3:159 “…Then, when thou hast taken decision, put thy trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)”. May Allah (SWT) grant us the ability to imbibe the virtues of determination, patience and perseverance in all that we do, amin.
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