I’ve been called all of these things. I think sometimes it was meant to be unflattering at best. I remember one conversation when I was told that I am rigid and I said if the word disciplined were inserted instead, I would accept the charge. The accusation was wielded by someone who had a more unstructured method of approaching life than I.
Determined I accept and include in my own self-definition. It is a trait that I am proud to claim, one that I cultivate on more hesitant days, in uncertain moments. Figuring out how to call it up in moments of need is almost like discovering a super power. I picture determination like a muscle – we must all have it – but as we who are over a certain age have found, muscles must be regularly activated or they go soft. (But there are always exercises to revive them.)
Stubborn can come in handy and I have been known to warn a potential adversary that I practice stubborn quite well. I have to really believe in the cause and you had better have a really compelling argument for your position. Compromise is an acceptable end. But then again, I might just be reformulating my points that I conceded for now for another run later. I do understand that stubborn should be applied in small doses, or it can turn into this next word.
Obstinate, hmm. This one has been leveled mostly by people whose most compelling argument is ‘because’. Obstinate means “characterized by inflexible persistence or an unyielding attitude” (per http://dictionary.reference.com/). I don’t see any point in obstinacy, unless a person has no interest in learning new things. Of course, I mentioned above that stubborn can become intractable and turn into obstinacy – no for the sake of no. If I know that I am right then I imagine that can appear obstinate to my opposite.
Being determined is a good thing when tempered with an openness to new information.
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