By: Joel Cochran
The dictionary defines “grit” as “courage and resolve; strength of character.” Some synonyms of grit are bravery, tenacity, mettle, backbone, spirit, fortitude, toughness, hardiness, resolve, determination. But with so many words defining grit, what exactly makes a person possess it?
Psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth defines grit as “having passion and perseverance for long-term goals.” She believes that grit isn’t being the most talented in your field or possessing some short-lived passion for something you want. Instead, it is about having an undeniable passion for a goal that gives meaning to almost everything you do and holding steadfast to it no matter the situation or challenges that are bound to occur.
With two different definitions of grit, what direction should we take when trying to work on our own grit?
In the first definition, we see words like fortitude, resolve and determination that suggest grit is doing the things that aren’t easy or are a challenge to us. These things are different for each person and can range from work to family and everything in between. But the question that Angela presents is, if we are gritty about one thing, will we be gritty about other things?
The answer is no. In her definition Angela says we must possess passion and perseverance about something in our lives to find grit. This doesn’t mean we will only have it towards the things we love and are passionate about. But, the things that don’t possess passion and perseverance for us will only create short termed grit. The longer that we are in a position that doesn’t move us, the shorter amount of time we will have true grit for.
Think about it for a second, the things that you truly love such as your family, your spouse and Welded create a strong amount of grit. Why? Because you are passionate about it and are willing to persevere for it.
Now on the flip side take something that you don’t love or have little passion for; your job, competitive crocheting and burpees. If these are things you hate, you are much more likely to have little amounts of grit in these situations if it isn’t something you are passionate about or is not connected to the things you do care for such as family, Welded etc.
So, the question that I present to anyone who has made it this far in my blog is this; what are you passionate for? What is your goal in that passion? And how long are you willing to sustain and persevere for that goal?
Write down the answers to all 3 of these questions and place it somewhere that you will see daily for the next year, i.e. your bathroom mirror, car, night stand etc. To take this a step further, write down exactly where you’re at in life when it pertains to your passion and goals in a letter to yourself, then seal the letter and put it in a safe place.
To finish it off, set an alarm in your phone for a year from the date you sealed the letter. What you will find is that by having a constant reminder of your passion and goals, you will develop a steadfast perseverance and grit that you may not have known you had.
And if that doesn’t work, do a 1,000 burpees for time and see how gritty you feel after that!