The Graceful Lens

The Journal

Driven by Determination

Margaret Thatcher was a role model of determination, leadership and strength. Once described as headstrong, obstinate and dangerously self-opinionated by a former employer who failed to see that these characteristics were not a negative but rather a foundation of strengths, she pressed on to become the first woman prime minister of the United Kingdom.  It is these very traits that prepared her to tackle some of the most challenging problems Great Britain has ever faced, and she did so in the face of glaring opposition and criticism with both dignity and respect.   

How can young women today cultivate determination?   In an article for, Simon T. Bailey stated that “Determination is what separates those who are in it for the long run and those who will burn out quickly. It’s made up of two things: firmness of choice and action over time. Action is what differentiates determination from grit. Grit is the what; determination is the how. Determination says: “I am going to do this NOW. “

  • Have a clear and specific decision to set aside excuses and passionately pursue your goals.
  • Have a “why” that fuels your purpose.  We are all on this planet for a reason; it is your job to figure out what that reason is and run the race that is set before you.
  • Be honest, humble and committed to conducting yourself with integrity.
  • Stand for what you believe in and do not waiver in the face of opposition.  
  • Eliminate fears and conflicts before they take root in your heart.  Don’t let negative thinking knock you down, but instead, build yourself up with a positive mindset.
  • Do not let turbulent emotions and hurt feelings take you off course.  Prime Minister Thatcher became affectionately known as “The “Iron Lady.”  She once said, “To wear your heart on your sleeve isn’t a very good plan; you should wear it inside, where it functions best.”
  • Build a posse of allies and mentors and seek their counsel and companionship to keep you on track and champion you forward in your mission.  Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan formed the strongest transatlantic partnership since the second world war, and this was critical in bringing an end to the Cold War. They were a formidable pair, each reinforcing the other at every opportunity.
  • Understand that you may have to make multiple attempts to climb a mountain before reaching the top. In another famous quote she said, “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”
  • Each day push to do better and be better. “I do not know anyone who has gotten to the top without hard work,” she stated, “That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but it will get you pretty near.”
Senior girl with heart shaped sunglasses.
Senior girl in front of theatre with sunlight.
Senior Girl in front of theatre.
Senior Girl with heart sunglasses in urban setting.
Senior girl in urban setting.
Senior girl in front of theatre.
Senior girl in front of theatre.
Senior girl in front of theatre.
Senior girl in front of theatre.
Senior Girl in front of Blueberry Hill.
Senior Girl in Urban Setting at Dusk.
Senior Girl in urban setting at dusk.
Senior Girl in front of Floral Shop in urban setting at night.
Senior Girl in front of floral shop at night.
Senior Girl at night in urban setting with neon lights.
Senior Girl at Night with Neon Lights

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