GRIT - By Angela Duckworth
GRIT is a book about perseverance, passion and resilience and how these things in combination with each other ultimately lead to success and can be measured using the GRIT scale.
I ordered GRIT along with a whole selection of other books some time last year. It wasn’t until I watched Angeala’s [Duckworth] Ted Talk that I remembered seeing her book in my bookshelf and took it out to read.
When reading it I discovered that what she calls GRIT is something that I have been living by my whole life with my mantra:
“It isn’t if I make it, it is when I make it and who will be there with me when I do.”
What really resonated with me and gave me peace of mind was a section in the book which explained that having GRIT doesn’t mean seeing Everything through to the end no matter what, and never giving up on anything. It means choosing what is most important, what your overarching goals are and trying several ways of getting there and deciding along the way if what you are currently focusing on will truly bring you closer to your final destination in the long run. GRIT is about knowing yourself, pushing your limitations, finding what interests you have and what excited you, trying new things and doing things that challenge us to grow and sticking with our true desires until we either succeed or ultimately, die (My words, not Angela’s).
The definition of Bravery is not the opposite of being afraid. It is being afraid of something and doing that thing anyway.
Sometimes we feel uncomfortable and feel like we are not making any progress or that we are doing things for the wrong reasons or that we don’t really know who we are and what we want.
It is all good and well saying that you should work towards your WHY and define your goals and routines around your One Thing and your greatest life purpose. But what if you are not sure what it is that you want to achieve and be known for in this world in the first place?
Angela writes in GRIT that she and her family have made a commitment to “The Hard Thing Rule”:
A hard thing is something that requires daily deliberate practice. For Angela her hard thing is psychological research and yoga, for her husband it is real estate and running. For Angela’s it is piano, but used to be ballet for many years.
You may quit your hard thing, but only when the time-frame for that hard thing reaches a natural ending point. Such as the end of a season, the membership runs out, tuition fee runs out etc.
You choose your own hard thing, nobody else chooses for you. It needs to be something you have an interest in and can be enthusiastic about, at least in the beginning.
Picking and working consistently on a hard thing that you are interested in allows you to discover what you like and do not like. You also learn a great deal about yourself, what you are capable of and where your limits lie.
When I was 13 my hard thing was guitar. I would practice for hours on day shifting my fingers through various chord progressions and fingering patterns and scales. I now have been able to make a living from my music but have not used guitar as my hard thing for a long time and have therefore remained at the same skill level for a long period of time. I have the goal to add guitar back to my list and have that as my hard thing again so as to reach new levels of skill in the future. However for now when it comes to music I have chosen Piano as my hard thing and have got an app with a keyboard that plugs into my devices so I can play along and learn how to read music and play piano scales and chords.
Blogging and social media are another one of my hard things that I am currently focusing on. I am constantly reading up on techniques and methods of being more efficient and making the most of my social media reach and also creating the habit of writing and creating quality content every single day.
Thomas Edison and his team took around 10 thousand failed attempts before reaching a solution for a light bulb that worked. Failure is not really failure; it is just another step towards success. For if they had not made the other 9999 attempts then they would never have found the combination of actions that ultimately led to the end result of success.
Let me share one of my favourite stories with you:
There was a man who had heard of great riches in the form of gold buried deep in the mountains. He said good bye to his wife and children and set off to bring home these riches to his family.
He took all of his life savings and packed everything he needed and set off on his adventure.
He began digging and picking away at the hard rocks in the gold mines. Determined to find something he worked all day and late into the evening before resting for the night.
The next morning he continued again long after the sun had set in the sky.
He did this for a few weeks and months. During his time away he received letters from his family saying that they were running out of supplies and wondering when he would be home again.
These letters began to make the man feel home sick and guilty for not providing for his family. He himself was also running low on supplies and did not know how long they would last him.
He began to doubt that he would ever strike gold and eventually decided to cut his losses and head back home. Defeated he returned to his family and went back to work for pennies so as to provide for his wife and children, working overtime to make up for the losses made during his endeavour.
Not long after the man had abandoned his mine, another came in hope of finding riches for his family. He continued digging where the man had left off and not long after he began working he struck a huge vein of gold.
The moral of that story is to not give up on something that you believe in. You have to go all in, or risk losing everything.
Of course you don’t need to go bankrupt in the search for your life purpose, but you should be willing to do whatever it takes to find out what that purpose is for you and then do all you can to make sure you are constantly working towards it, whatever it may be.
The only true path to failure, is never trying in the first place.
If you never ask, never go for it, never take that leap of faith. The answer, result and outcome will always be 100% No, Zero, Nothing. You infinitely increase your chances of success just by trying.
And if you keep trying, and keep getting back up and keep going for what you want with Passion and Resilience, then you have a lot of GRIT and are bound for SUCCESS.
A Winner is just a Loser who tried one more time