Focus and determination are key ingredients to getting us to where we want to go. There may be bumps along the way but with each challenge, it’s focus and determination that drive forward movement.
I experienced this firsthand as I pursued doctoral studies and faced numerous challenges during my six years of study. It took focus and determination to cope with the steep learning curve I had to climb and it took a strong commitment to the process to meet the academic demands and departmental requirements of a PhD graduate.
Focus and determination have a huge role to play with my clients, many of whom are off work due to mental health issues. My clients face unique challenges in preparing to return to work. Through their participation in the cognitive work hardening program that I offer, they commit to a comprehensive process of return-to-work preparation. They adopt a work schedule that they have not had to do while on disability since a routine is not typically inherent in a disability leave. They engage in work simulations that are designed to rebuild cognitive abilities trusting me that the work tasks are an important part of their return-to-work journeys. Finally, they work hard to address interpersonal issues and/or improve their communication effectiveness for the purpose of self-improvement and arming themselves with skills/strategies that better position them for the demands of competitive employment.
My clients are determined to get better so that they can return to their jobs. My clients persevere, even when it’s tough, trusting me and the work hardening process. Most importantly, they learn to trust themselves, their work ability, and the transferability of their gains made at cognitive work hardening to their workplaces.
Focus and determination are important ingredients for success whether it’s learning a new skill, working toward a goal, or accepting one’s limitations and working within one’s tolerances. So, set (SMART) goals and use your focus and determination to help you attain your goals. Use challenges as an opportunity to intensify your focus and determination as a means to propel yourself forward.