Grit, what is it? A piece of a sand, an attitude, a mindset. The ability to perservere and continue when the odds are against you?
Angela Duckworth’s Grit is a fascinating read. Disscussing all things Grit, from what it is, how you measure it, how does it affect your outlook and prospects in life. Can Grit be taught or is it just something you are born with?
Personally, my view on Grit is the ability to keep going when you face setbacks or failures. The ability to keep trying even when the thought of trying one more time is sole destroying. It’s having the ability to focus on the ultimate end-goal of what you are trying to achieve. So for me let’s take London Marathon. The end goal is discussed here, but I have to focus on it day in and day out. I have definitely had some truly awful training runs. The next day lacing up my shoes it tough, you know how hard it’s going to be, the blisters that will appear, how tired you currently are, how much easier it would be to just stay in. But I try and perservere, doing that run will make it worthwhile come race day. That’s my own reflections and daily battle, showing that I have some grit.
Speaking of goals, there is an interesting chapter on goals and what you need to do to achieve them. Many of us have lots of low level goals or mid level goals, but no overarching top level goal. This causes us to never fully achieve our potential or not be focussing on one specific thing. For example, doing well at work and getting that promotion may be the top level goal. How to do that? A multitude of mid level goals, such as being a good role model who delivers. A low level goal would be arriving to work on time every day. Spending time to create a goal hierachy will help you make sure that all your ultimate goal is being driven by every action at the lower levels. It sounds a little fluffy as such, but definitely something I might look to do.
Grit also has a fascinating section on parenting, the nice versus mean parents. I have a really good relationship with both my parents, they both know how strict I thought they were, but I can definitely see the benefit now. Case in point, I always wanted a designer handbag. My Mum wouldn’t let me buy a cheap fake one, instead encouraging me to wait till I got a good job and can afford it myself. Standing in Louis Vuitton with my Mum aged 25 buying a wallet is a moment I will never forget. I did thank her for not letting me buy fake when I was a little.