"A failure establishes only this, that our determination to succeed was not strong enough." ~ Christian Nestell Bovee.

Most people would agree that determination is a key ingredient to success but is it the most important contributor? Does Determination Alone Work? How about intelligence, talent, circumstance and plain old luck - Where do they rank? Do we need a combination of factors and attributes to fall into place to be successful in any endeavor?
I guess it depends on who you ask.

Ask 'Rudy' and you get one answer - Ask a lottery winner and you get another. Ask a hundred people and you'll get a hundred answers from working hard to being smart. From having connections to character, ambition to ability, and talent to tenacity. However the common denominator on everyones list will undoubtedly be determination. How do we measure our determination? How do we know whether we really have it or just think we do? We measure it against the ~ "Black Dog".

The black dog is the name Winston Churchill gave to the depression that would often overcome him. The feeling of worthlessness, futility and apathy that he, and many great men from Lincoln to Kafka battled during their lives. I believe it's how we respond to this despondancy, apathy, inertia, and paralyzing introspective quagmire that determines our success in life. It's what we do when we question whether any endeavor is worth the effort to continue. It's whether we pet, embrace and accept this black dog or whether we choose to fight through the darkness he represents. This is what determines the depth of our determination. This is what ultimately determines our success.

Some black dogs are puppies ~ Distractions, embryonic ennui ,that lead us down the path of least resistance. And some are hounds from hell ~ deep depressions that drag us into despondancy and despair.

When the black dog comes to attack our dreams ~ intelligence can debate him, talent could delay him, connections might care, but there's only one thing that ultimately drives him away ~ Our Determination.

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