When I was learning how to ski, I went to a hill that only had a Poma lift (also known as a platter lift). It went up the hill right next to a black slope. I was just a beginner and found it very challenging to ride that kind of lift. There was a rough patch of snow and ice more or less halfway up to the top and I stumbled out of the lift on it a few times. I had to ski down the black slope to go back and take the lift again. I tumbled down the mountain each time. It was scary, painful and upsetting—then lunchtime came. I spent twenty minutes complaining to my girlfriend. When we finished lunch she said, "alright, let's go back home, then." I looked at her. I was surprised. I hadn't even considered that as an option. I don't know what overcame me, but I said "no, I'm going up to the top of the hill." Mentally, I came up with a mantra that I repeated obsessively as I was slowly progressing through the line for the Poma lift: "I don't care if it takes me one thousand tries, I'm going to get to the top." Over and over again, I repeated that phrase in my mind.
I reached the summit at the next try.
But that's not even what this story is about. I started skiing in my thirties and most years I didn't really get the chance of skiing more than once per season. I don't know what happened in that diner at the skirts of that hill, but the determination of learning how to ski comfortably was implanted in my mind for almost a decade until I finally made it.
The point is, determinations have more power than we realize. We go on autopilot most of our lives and complain that our lives are not what we want.