The Art of Sheer Determination
I am fascinated by grit. I love hearing stories of how people got through the tough times. Of how they found that thing within themselves that caused them to keep going when others would have given up. I’m always asking people to share their grit stories, not so much for morbid curiosity, but so that I can try to figure out how all of us can become a little grittier. And what I’ve come to believe is that we all have the ability to do great work from this place of passion and drive, but many of us choose not to follow through with what I would argue is a more challenging, but also more fulfilling, path.
So, why do it? Why fight doggedly for something when it’s easier to just give up? Well, dear readers, because the things that really matter in life are worth fighting for. Yes, I’m a big proponent of the Law of Attraction and of being in the “flow” – allowing life to hand you delightful miracles. But I also believe that those things alone are not enough.
In order to build something that matters – whether it’s a business, a relationship or anything else you want to create, you’ve got to show up and do the work that’s required to make it happen. You’ve got to show up today and you’ve got to show up tomorrow and the day after that. Grit is that commitment that you make to yourself to keep working at something, bit by bit, even when giving up and walking away would be the easy way out. Especially when giving up would be the easy way out.
I’m particularly interested in business and in my experience almost every business has at least one grit story. Most of the time it goes something like this:
We were up against a wall, out of cash, out of resources. We had no idea what we were going to do. We thought we were going to have to shut our doors. But instead we decided to keep going. We just kept going, and now we’re worth (fill in an impressive sum here).
And that’s the crux of it. Everyone who’s ever been successful in anything has hit a wall at some point. More likely than not they’ve hit lots and lots of walls. They’ve had setbacks and failures, and they’ve gotten up in the morning and done it all over again. Because if you keep working at something long enough, with eyes wide open for new synergies and opportunities, then your time to shine will eventually come. All of that grit serves to polish off the prize in the end, which is reason enough to dig deep and to find out what it is you’re truly made of. I have faith that it’s something much more than you ever imagined.