In the English language the word “Resolute” is an adjective which means admirably purposeful, determined, unwavering. “She was resolute” So fitting is the word when spoken in reference to ones personal growth and development, leadership, and success.
To lend a frame of reference let us turn to the story of the resolute desk. You may have heard of this desk used by presidents since first presented to Rutherford B Hayes in 1880. The desk itself was crafted using timbers from the British ship “Resolute”. The Resolute was used for artic exploration and in search specifically of the ill-fated expedition of Sir John Franklin to find a northwest passage in the Canadian artic several years before.
The HMS Resolute became trapped in the ice and was abandoned in 1854. It was eventually recovered about two years later by an American Whaler out of Connecticut completely intact. The ship was restored and eventually returned to Queen Victoria in 1856. Upon it’s decommission in 1879 three desks were constructed from its timbers and one was presented to then U.S president Rutherford B. Hayes1880 as a gesture of thanks for the rescue and return of Resolute. Since then it has been used by every US President except Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Gerald Ford.
Back to the word itself the definition and its ties to success. When we think about the description “admirably purposeful, what comes to mind? Admirably purposeful speaks of doing the right thing, integrity, moving forward with purpose, and keeping in mind the best interest of others along the way.
It means you are determined. You will get back up when you get knocked down and each time you do you move closer to your goal. You can’t be successful unless you are determined. Being determined means finding a way and never giving up,
Steadfast, unwavering in your resolve to do whatever it takes are equally as fitting. These are the qualities of leadership and these are the qualities rigidly attached to personal growth and development. Perhaps that is why the HMS Resolute was so aptly named. Think of the men who sailed her, her captain Henry Kellet who led her crew and the hardship they endured. They were indeed resolute. Think of it, a time when there were no phones, no electricity, no radios to communicate, and no guarantee that they would ever see England again just their unwavering resolve to stay the course, banded together as they were to complete their mission. Many died including Captain Kellet while Resolute was cast in her icy tomb and still others were rescued on an arduous trek to reach the Canadian mainland after abandoning her in 1854.
How determined are you to accomplish your goals? What is your mission and are you resolute in your quest for excellence, to be the absolute best that you can be?
Someone or some thing that stands the test of time and stays the course is indeed resolute and in so doing leaves a lasting legacy. The resolute was a ship yet her legacy lives on. But all that is left is a desk you say? True, but it was a desk harvested from her timbers, a desk so fine that almost every U.S. President since Rutherford B Hayes has sat behind her in the Oval office where some of the most critical decisions in U.S. history were made. So no, she is not just a desk, she is resolute, she has stood the test of time, and will continue to sail onward into the future.
As we go through life we learn to live and to love and to endure through triumphs and heartbreak. It is on our own personal journey that our destiny is shaped, and our own legacy is born. When you find your mission, remain resolute in your determination to reach the goals you have created for yourself and to live the life you dream of. If you do, the legacy you create will stand the test of time.
Each of us touches more people in our relatively short time on this earth than we will ever know. The question is, what do you want those people, the ones you will never meet you, to know about you? The answer will give you everything you need to know about the legacy you desire.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” ~Henry David Thoreau
Author of The Four Pillars of Sales