Pacific Sociological Association Conference. I felt privileged to be one of the few undergraduates chosen to present. I was a bit nervous, so I asked one of my professors, Dr. Loo, to meet me for lunch, go over my presentation with me, and give me some advice.
I consider Dr. Loo to be an anomaly. He is from Hawaii, studied Government at Harvard, and earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz. What also amazed me was that he was a male Asian American Sociology professor, which is a rarity. He was (and continues to be) the only one that I know of in existence. During our lunch, I had to ask him, "Dr. Loo, do you have a secret to your success?" I stated every fore mentioned reason why I thought his success was unique and wanted some insight.
He replied, "Well, I would have to attribute it to an undying sense of determination."
"That's it?" I thought to myself. I thought the answer would be more complex. It took me a little while to realize that it really was that simple, and it really is that hard.
Being willing to do whatever it takes to succeed is a fundamental and advantageous life skill. Whatever the goal is, whatever the challenges are, or whoever we are, determination is a key factor to success. Dr. Loo probably had a lot of obstacles to face to earn his Ph.D. They're probably the same ones that face people who aspire to walk the same path. What made him and others who earned similar success is that he was able to overcome those obstacles.
Even though it's years later, this simple advice has always stuck with me. With all my goals in life, being determined to achieve them is, to me, the most critical factor.