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The human experience is not easy. We must gird-up our loins to get through the less than ideal times that we experience throughout our lifetimes in this fallen world. Know this, you are not alone. The people that have come before us, since the beginning of time, have been through much worse than we. We are living in a very fortunate time in history.

What is Grit?

If you Google the term grit you find a definition of “courage and resolve; strength of character”.

Let’s break this down further…..what is the definition of……courage “strength in the face of pain or grief”, resolve “firm determination to do something”, determination “firmness of purpose”, strength “the quality or state of being strong, in particular”, strong “able to withstand great force or pressure”, character “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual”.

So according to these definitions grit is: a quality or state of being able to withstand great force or pressure in the face of pain or grief and a firmness of purpose to do something; a quality or state of being able to withstand great force or pressure in the face of pain or grief that reflect the individual’s mental and moral qualities.

Nurture or Nature

Grit is not like common sense; grit is learned and developed through experiences. It can also be modeled to others and likely taught to others. It does get a little sticky around the “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual”, as this is a key component to grit and one’s character is very much dependent on the nurture factor as well as the nature. Common sense is an innate (inborn or natural) quality that people have or don’t have. Ironically or not maybe not so ironic, I find that people with grit also have common sense.

In the post Your Power, Your Control, Your Responsibility, I touch on how some folks believe that life just happens to them, having a victim mentality and not taking responsibility for their choices’ this also plays into the mental state of those who lack grit.

In the post called Do You Need Motivation?, I touched on the topic of discipline. In my opinion, discipline is a component of grit.

Your Beliefs

Rene Descartes said “I think therefore I am”. When it comes to the human brain and shifting our thinking you cannot speak to yourself in negatives. Your brain doesn’t understand negatives. It understands positive reinforcement, like Pavlov’s Dog. You tell yourself/brain what you do want, not what you don’t. What you think about and what you believe about yourself and your circumstance will dictate your results.

I spoke about “a firmness of purpose to do something”. Also, in the post Do You Need Motivation?,  I touched on finding your why. The reason you need to find your why is so that you have intrinsic motivation, you have a purpose for doing something.

Your belief about yourself and your purpose on this planet will drive the amount of grit you have.

I’ve read and heard on multiple occasions that people with the belief in God are much more able to overcome hard times, because they have a purpose and an identity outside of whatever their current circumstances are.

Your beliefs are the foundation of grit.

Other quotes I like:

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”—Confucius

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.

“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”—Franklin D. Roosevelt

“We must meet the challenge rather than wish it were not before us.”—William J. Brennan, Jr.

“There are no great people in this world, only great challenges which ordinary people rise to meet.”—William Frederick Halsey, Jr.

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” —Aristotle Onassis

Do You Have Grit?

When thinking about sayings like “survival of the fittest” or “only the strong survive”, this is the result of grit! Other piffy sayings that I think of when I think of grit are: “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” and “failure is not an option” —Ed Harris from Apollo 13.

Allow me to ask you a scary question…..who is the fittest? who are the strong? are you? will you survive? will your children?

Do you have the ability to “withstand great force or pressure in the face of pain or grief and a firmness of purpose to do something”?

Do you have courage, resolve, purpose, initiative, determination, resilience, discipline, strength, instinct, and tenacity?

If you do not and you want them, I suggest you start working on it. Start reading biographies, autobiographies, and the Bible. Surround yourself with people who have the qualities you want. Soak up every ounce of wisdom you can from them. This type of shift is mental and requires dedication, practice, and time.

Put in the work, be gritty!