Grit….what is it?
Bravery, pluck, mettle, backbone, spirit, strength of character, strength of will, moral fiber, steel, nerve, gameness, valor, fortitude, toughness, hardiness, resolve, determination, resolution, stamina, doggedness, tenacity. The list goes on, grit also means perseverance, endurance and passion, for a long term goal. In other words, gritty people believe, everything will be alright in the end and if it’s not alright, it’s not the end. People with grit, deal with the trials of life and problems, as challenges and potential defeat, as a call to action. In some instances, grit can be seen in another way, as it also takes grit to withdraw or give up. When situations are blatantly not working or detrimental to our health.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena. Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood. Who strived valiantly, who errs, who comes again and again. Because there is no effort without error and shortcoming, but who does actually strive to do the deeds. Who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause. Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. ( Teddy Roosevelt)
So how do we get grit? Firstly we have to believe in the goal we are working towards. Our values and passions have to be aligned, with what, we’re trying to achieve. If these things are in place, grit comes naturally, it’s grit that gets us up in the morning, determined to go for that run. Even if it is freezing cold and we would much rather be in bed. Make sure that grit doesn’t trip you up though, if we run that extra mile and bugger our knee up, that’s not grit, that’s stupidity. The one thing that can not be taken from a man (or woman) is the power to determine his attitude in any given situation. (Victor Frankl) We all possess the power of choice, and the perspective from which we view things in our life.
We can look through lenses of pessimism or optimism, hopefulness or despair, gratitude or grievance, possibility or resignation, goals or obstacles, it’s really, our choice. Many of us do our best, to try to minimize and even eliminate risks in our live. The cultivation of grit, sometimes, requires the willingness to engage in practices that may be outside our comfort zone. Conscious and responsible risk taking, is an essential aspect of this process. Living on the edge is an acquired taste, and if done skillfully, can mean the difference between success and failure.
Grit, is consistency in doing better today, than yesterday. If something is frustrating, our natural tendency is, to give up. But we have to do things over and over again for them to feel natural, and grit is what keeps pushing us forward. Grit, can be learned, it’s a matter of facing fears, following through, keeping the vision in sight and never giving up. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint. (Doctor Angela Duckworth in her Ted talk)
(Invictus by W. E. Henley) Out of the night that covers me. Black as the Pit from pole to pole. I thank whatever gods may be. For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance. I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance.My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears looms but the horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find me, unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate. How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.