What exactly is in the DNA of true grit, anyway?
F or my money, no matter how you define “grit”, it isn’t enough by itself to ensure success. It’s an amalgam of several characteristics which, in combination, give us the greatest chance to succeed.
What does it take to persevere under pressure … in the face of intense and relentless competition … when it’s so much easier to fold your tent and call it a day?
[pullquote]Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ~ Thomas A. Edison[/pullquote]
You can learn more about grit in several ways.
You can get a preview of your own grit by using the Grit Scale.
I haven’t read Duckworth’s book, but when I think about Grit, I see it as a critical ingredient of success. It’s not enough by itself, but without it, your chances aren’t good.
There are, however, 7 Critical Ingredients of Success that, together, give you the greatest chance to be successful.
7 Critical Ingredients of Success
Of course, you’ve got to have talent, you’ll say, that’s a given.
True grit isn’t worth much unless you have the capability to succeed, so it’s important to have a clear understanding of your talent and that you apply it where it gives you a competitive advantage.
If you’re a fabulous chess player who’s a duffer on the golf course, no amount of perseverance will overcome the futility of joining the PGA tour.
Our talents, no matter how rich, are fleeting … sometimes rising to the surface when we’re booming big drives, other times hidden beneath the surface when we can’t make a putt to save our lives.
Time is the father of patience and its greatest adversary is our desperation to get something done quickly.
Maybe we waited too long, underestimated what was required or made too many mistakes. True grit will lead to success if we have the patience to allow our talents to ultimately prevail.
Purpose is essential to direct our energies and supplement the fuel stores supplied by confidence.
Without Purpose, we would persist but not prevail, drudging along with no meaningful intent.
That’s the next ingredient in this gritty stew, a belief in yourself and your talent.
We’re all pretty good at second-guessing our failures:
“What could I have done differently?”
“Why did I do something so stupid?”
“When am I going to learn?”
But, that kind of retrospective is like spitting in the soup. Confidence in yourself is the oxygen that fuels true grit.
Pluck is the ability to remain fearless in the face of adversity.
You reject the pain, ignore the fear and fight back the tears on the way to victory.
By any other measure, this is strength of character.
There’s not a bright line separating this quality from true grit itself, but perseverance may be true grit in a different costume.
Let’s call it three parts confidence, two parts pluck, sprinkled with a dash of patience.
Endurance may be the fraternal twin of patience, but not everyone with patience will endure the obstacles that are strewn in their path.
That fortitude keeps us in the game, willing to suffer the pitfalls and obstacles that would deter weaker souls.
Patience would be a lonely soul without riding horseback on endurance, and we would only be durable losers much of the time.
True Grit is a magical elixir
It’s a magical elixir. Without it, our successes will only be occasional.
With it, we can conquer all that’s before us.
We probably can’t get enough of it, can we?
Question: How do you know if you have True Grit? You can easily add your comment below, or by visiting our Facebook Page or @Exkalibur on Twitter. I visit them every day and look forward to discussing these ideas and concepts with you.