Predetermined:  A Decisive Mindset

“He has his mind made up.”

“She has set her mind on achieving that goal.”

You’ve heard those expressions before. They’ve been spoken countless times throughout history. Even Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying

“You can do anything you set your mind to.”

I’m certain we could agree that having the right mindset is essential for getting ahead. Conversely, having a negative mindset can be a major cause for holding us back. How we “set our minds” in relation to our goals and our life will “set the tone” for the outcome we experience. It is much like setting the cruise control on a nice luxury car. We choose the speed we desire and purposely accelerate to that mark. Then we push the button that sets and holds the engine at that speed. Our mindset is a pre-determined attitude and idea of how we will approach any given situation or objective.

Setting the Cruise Control for an Excellent Life

There are two words that we need to examine that can help us be more decisive in our lives – “Preset” and “Predetermine.”


This word is common in the world of equipment or controls; it means “to set or adjust in advance of its use.”  Another excellent definition is “a value that controls the operation of a device.”  That makes sense, doesn’t it?  Our personal VALUES become the parameters that guide our decisions.  We have a greater likelihood of avoiding failure when we set in place (preset) what is important to us and what we will not compromise.  For example, you have a boss that wants you to lie to a customer about a failure to meet a deadline. Your “value preset” is, to be honest. You risk losing the job by telling the boss you won’t tell the lie. But, you stand to gain a grateful customer by truthfully explaining what happened and how you’re going to make their immediate needs your only priority.


The root of the word is “determine.” It means “to cause to occur or to be the decisive factor.” This is the key to overcoming a negative mindset.  You deliberately cause your attention to look beyond the setbacks, the gossip, the assumptions, and the fears — and you determine what good can be achieved by applying your values to the circumstances or to the goals that you desire to see realized.  For example, you determine that you need to have 25 meaningful connections or conversations with your customers during the week so that you can meet your sales goals for the month.

The more determined a person is, the more likely they are to do what has been predetermined.

Here are THREE PRESETS to help you be more DECISIVE:

  1. Clarify Your Values – what you stand for and what you will not compromise.
  2. Specify Your Vision – get specific on what you want and what it looks like to reach your goals.
  3. Verbify Your Voice –  (Yes, it is a word.) Speak up about your desires, goals, and plans.  What you give voice to becomes a strong motivator.

The mindset we choose each and every day is the decisive factor in how we approach life, succeed in business, get along with others, and navigate the unexpected detours.

  • You get to have a say in how you will face each day.
  • You get to determine how determined you will be along the way.
  • You get to decide how you will respond to the conditions that come into play.
  • Your mindset will be shaped by what you choose and say.

Do you remember that luxury car I mentioned earlier?  That’s your mind. Accelerate. Set the cruise and let the journey begin!

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Steven Iwersen is a business leader, speaker and the author of “The Porcupine Principles: How to Move Prickly People to Preferred Outcomes.” He is the owner of Aurora Pointe LLC – a leadership development firm.

Steven Iwersen, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) can be your Keynote Speaker at your next association or company event. Contact him at [email protected]