Stubbornness Vs. Determination

As an inventor, Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When asked how he felt about failing a thousand times, Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times, but the light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” Do you believe Edison was stubborn or determined?

Thomas Edison was determined. Because he attempted a thousand different ways in order to invent the light bulb instead of trying the same method and giving up in the middle of the process.

It sounds obvious but how many of us have insisted in a mistake or wasted time (and money) trying to achieve something and neglecting to try alternative forms? Perhaps no one has ever called us “stubborn”, but deep down we don’t really need someone to tell us that, do we?
Stubbornness may sound very bad to our ears because we tend to have prejudice towards this word and immediately associate it with someone who is very conservative, old school, unpleasant or even narrow-minded. 

Truth is, anyone at some point in their lives might have encountered a situation in which they were resistant and stubborn and there is nothing wrong with that as long as it doesn’t cause you deep sadness, great disappointment, permanent giving up or fear of failure.

Then what is the solution to our daily problems? Determination.
A determined person has a target and will do anything and everything to reach it. However, please note that the objective must be clear as water, or all the work involved will be disposable. Besides having a defined objective, it takes discipline and organization to follow the strategies towards any goal. That is why determination is key to getting anywhere, moreover, if one is not aware of the importance of reaching the target, it will be very easy to get distracted and give up in between.

On the other hand, a stubborn person with a clear goal would only be successful by chance, or if he/she is luckily a genius. I affirm this because again, how can one reach a goal by trying the same method repeatedly, but failing to realize that some adjustments are necessary. I would risk to add that a stubborn person is also lazy and proud. Lazy because is too comfortable in a situation and ignores the need to change or learn a skill, and proud because lacks humility to recognize something is wrong or ask for help.

There is nothing wrong with taking longer than expected to achieve a goal, as long as one is trying different alternatives and learning during the process. There is no such thing as “failure” when you are having fun doing it. You will eventually get somewhere, even if it’s not your original destination.

Happy weekend!

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