Over the past few months, I have gotten myself immersed in the research on grit and how it relates to my own Mindfulness journey. I love stories on each. I count myself as a gritty person. When I had an anxiety phase some years back, I immersed myself in an active practice to get out. I ran a marathon a few months after a surgery and I have never let any circumstance in my life to get in the way of what I want to achieve. I have made bad choices and I have flown out of them. Wounded and vulnerable, but happier.
Grit is a story everyone loves. Watch a movie and have you found yourself rooting for that underdog to win. She is resilient, she is gritty and she is the one who deserves it. It connects to the human spirit at very deep levels.
It’s the triumph of us as a race, it’s the subliminal message that we can achieve whatever we want to, if we have it in us. Selena Gomez underwent a kidney transplant and shared her story of victory over lupus and we all watched it with tears in our eyes. Lance Armstrong won seven grueling victories at the Tour de France, overcoming a cancer diagnosis and treatment that could have ended his career and his dreams. Andre Agassi suffers from a degenerative disorder called spondylolisthesis and yet played tennis and won multi-tournaments to emerge stronger. Erik Weihenmayer, an American athlete, author and motivator not only became the first blind person to climb Mt. Everest but also the first blind person to raft in the Colorado river.
There are millions of stories of human grit and each reminding you in the power of the human mind.
But what is Grit:
Grit is not talent
Grit is defined as having perseverance and passion for long-term goals. It is challenging yourself despite your fears. It’s being resilient. It’s having the willingness to fail, fail again, and to fail better until you finally succeed.
Duckworth and her colleagues in their book talked about the role of talent in grit. While she noted the need for further research in this area, preliminary interviews indicated that the quality that distinguished star performers in their respective fields was not necessarily talent, but exceptional commitment to ambitions and goals. In fact, she concluded, that “to the extent that challenge is higher for individuals of modest ability, grit may matter more, not less.”
We all know the story of John Rockefeller. Before becoming possibly, the richest man in history, John Rockefeller was the son of a con artist and high-school student in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. Although he had some education, by the time he was sixteen, Rockefeller decided it was time to shirk school and begin a career—with the goal of earning $100,000 in his lifetime. And needless to say, he did it.