We have had such a tumultuous winter in many parts of the world. Ice, snow, power outages…..and they often hit at the most inopportune times. For example, my 2nd book launch and associated signing fell on the same day as Dallas was to get a few inches of traffic-stopping ice! It did not actually happen, yet many succumbed to the ‘fear’ of its potential. AND still others made the CHOICE to be resilient and come to enjoy and support the event. For these individuals and their choices, I will always be grateful. Recently, I stumbled across a compelling book written by Paul G. Stoltz, entitled Grit. He explores the components for extraordinary achievement and what it took to make it happen. I found his exploration compelling, and certainly worth highlighting. He boils the key contributing factors down to: Growth, Resilience, Instinct, and Tenacity. In a nutshell he defines these traits like this:
Growth is your propensity so seek and consider new ideas, additional alternatives, different approaches and fresh perspectives.
Resilience is your capacity to respond constructively and ideally make good use of all kinds of adversity.
Instinct is your gut-level capacity to pursue the right goals in the best and smartest ways.
Tenacity is the degree to which you persist, commit to, stick with, and relentlessly go after whatever you choose to achieve.
I loved his succinct way to bottle the traits so many successful folks have embraced to achieve their dreams. His book also compliments the Ted talk offered by Angela Lee Duckworth. Angela explores what distinguished the super star 7th graders from those just eking by. What was the common denominator? You guessed it: Grit.
Grit is a trait embraced by thousands of unsung heroes in life. One does not have to be a well-known war hero, CEO, or social entrepreneur to exhibit GRIT in their lives. In fact, my most recent book in the “Is This Seat Taken?®” book series, highlights 15 folks who very late in late created the life of their dreams, and every single one of them exhibited grit throughout their lives. They are as diverse as one can imagine from a hospice chaplain to a recovering alcoholic to an unlikely late in life writer. I was inspired while researching and writing about each of these individuals. For example, take Jacqueline Qualls who was laid off at age 62, without enough to retire in the manner in which she desired, and then embarked on a completely different career to create a 7 figure residual income a short five years later. And that is just one example of tremendously resilient souls who have set the bar for each of us to follow.
So, what is the takeaway for application in our lives? Net: we each have the ability to CHOOSE GRIT. We do not control what happens TO us; yet, we do have the ability to choose how we respond to it. Whether we are a corporate middle manager, an enterprising entrepreneur, a single mother, a student struggling with dyslexia, or a recently laid off late in life business person – nothing difficult gets accomplished without the toughness and perseverance to see it through. Grit is always at the heart of it.