So What Does It Take to Have Success?

Doug Cline


Determination is a positive emotional feeling that involves persevering towards a difficult goal in spite of obstacles. Determination occurs prior to goal attainment and serves to motivate behavior that will help achieve your goal. For you to achieve success, you must have the fortitude to continue on and transverse turmoil and rough situations. You will be challenged many times on your journey to achieve a goal or in the efforts to accomplish a task.

Empirical research suggests that people consider determination to be an emotion; in other words, determination is not just a cognitive state but rather an affective state. In the psychology literature, researchers have studied determination under other terms, including challenge and anticipatory enthusiasm; this may explain one reason for the relative lack of research on determination compared to other positive emotions. 

In the field of psychology, emotion research is heavily focused on negative emotions and the action tendencies that they encourage. However, recent work in positive psychology incorporates the study of determination as a positive emotion that pushes individuals toward action and results in important outcomes such as perseverance and determination to take success


Endurance is the ability to withstand and sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity, hardship, or adversity. To achieve success, you must have the ability or strength to continue and keep the focus, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions that you will surely encounter. 

An individual must have the ability to push forward and continue to execute, work and strive for the vision set even when you are tired, frustrated, and want to return to the status quo. 

This is the one area that has a profound effect on whether someone is successful or not. The easy thing to do is to return to the old or status quo mode and not continue on. Great leaders in emergency services have had an endurance level that supersedes most.  


Motivation is the desire to act in service of a goal or objective. Motivation is the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. It’s the crucial element in setting and attaining our goals and objectives as individuals and organizations. Motivation is one of the driving forces behind human behavior. It fuels competition and sparks social connections.

People often have multiple motives for engaging in any one behavior. Motivation might be extrinsic, whereby a person is inspired by outside forces—other people or rewards. Motivation can also be intrinsic, whereby the inspiration comes from within—the desire to improve at a certain activity. Intrinsic motivation tends to push people more forcefully, and the accomplishments are more fulfilling. 

An individual must focus on the reason for your actions. It is important to remember this is also one’s direction to behavior. It is important to understand motivation comes from within and is supported by those around you. Choose the people you surround yourself with cautiously.


Attitude is how you look at everything. It is the way you choose to see and respond to events, situations, people, and yourself. Your attitude is not something that happens to you; each day, each situation, and each event, you choose your attitude towards those things. Your attitude is created by your thoughts, emotions, and reactions as you choose each of these. You are the engineering programmer of your frame of mind, aka attitude. You decide how you will perceive and process these events that have a significant impact on your life, work, and relationships. You choose whether you will have a positive or negative response. 

Your attitude has a profound impact on how you lead personnel and organizations. Attitude affects the way you sell your visions and ideas as well as the way you serve your subordinates. Your attitude has a direct impact on how you communicate and collaborate with others, how you contribute to the culture of your work environment, and how you perform your daily tasks and responsibilities. Ultimately, your attitude shapes your success and your happiness, both personal and professional. In looking at individuals and leaders, making everything else equal, the individual with the best attitude will outperform and get more respect than the others. When everything is not equal, the person with the best attitude usually wins. Unfortunately, many individuals cling to beliefs and attitudes that restrict rather than empower their performance.

Remember…Attitude is everything! 

Achievement – 

Achievement is something that you as an individual or the organization did or got after planning and working to make it happen, and that therefore gives a feeling of satisfaction or the act of working to make this happen.

The accomplishment required effort, courage, devotion to the mission, and motivation for the journey embarked on.


Commitment is important because it makes you more dependable, trustworthy, and responsible. And we all like to be with someone we can trust and rely on. So when you make commitments and keep them, people will respect and trust you more. A person who keeps their promises is a person of integrity.

Be Committed:

To self

To your department’s Mission, Vision, and Values

To your family

Doug ClineDoug Cline is a veteran and student of the Fire Service serving as the Assistant Chief of Professional Development with Horry County Fire Recue. A retired Fire Chief , Cline is a Level III Fire Instructor, National Fire Academy Instructor and an EMT-Paramedic instructor. Chief Cline is the 2nd Vice Chair for the South Carolina Firefighters Association Officer Section, a past President of the South Carolina State Association of Fire Chiefs, Executive Director for the National Fire Academy Alumni Association, past President International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI), past President of the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs (SEAFC), a member of the South Carolina and North Carolina Society of Fire and Rescue Instructors. Cline served on the FEMA grant criteria development committee, Congressional Fire Service Institute (CFSI) National Advisory Committee, past member of the FDIC Advisory Board and peer reviewer for the Fire Act Grants.

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