Saturday, March 4, 2017

Grit Part 7

Growing Grit from the Outside Continued
       So, what’s another way us parents can build more grit in ourselves and our children? Simple. Join a gritty team. Join a winning team. Join a team where it’s normal to get up early, work hard, and stay late. When we reside in a culture that is gritty, then acting gritty just seems normal. It’s just what we do. After all, the concept of conformity is a very powerful one. Most of us will conform to the culture that we’re living in, whether we know it or not.
            The Finnish people even have a word for the culture of toughness that they live in and acclimate to. That word is sisu. They believer that just by being Finnish it makes the people in Finland grittier, tougher, or sisu, whether they know it or not. Pete Carroll, coach of the Seattle Seahawks professional football team calls it competing. If you’re part of the Seahawks culture you’re always competing. And in Coach Carroll’s culture, the word compete doesn’t mean one wins and one loses. Instead, it means to bring forth the best in all of them.
Which, leads me to my next point. If you don’t have a winning gritty culture or team to join, then create one of your own where your own grit will rub off onto your teammates, co-workers, or even your own children. Hey, it’s sort of like the great John Wooden of UCLA basketball fame would say, “Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” So, choose to have that courage and build that grit in yourself. Then pass it around so others too can get a little more cultured.
What we accomplish in the marathon of life depends a lot on our grit, passion and perseverance for long term goals. Sadly, an obsession with talent distracts us all from this simple truth. And makes no mistake about it, most of us are distracted. We love the mystique of what someone becomes, we’re not very interested in what it took, or the becoming part that was required for them to reach their full potential and mastery.
            The good thing is that we can all choose to work on our own grit and becoming grittier. We can grow our grit from the inside out through some exploration and perseverance and we can also employ others to our cause and grow grit from the outside in.
            Becoming grittier is excellent for all of us because becoming grittier makes us emotionally healthier. Considering all the crazy stuff we have seen seeing in the news lately, I think you would agree with me that our society being a little more emotionally healthy would be a good thing that could benefit all of us.

            In conclusion, I say stay curious my friend. Curiosity usually has an undercurrent of optimism that accompanies a growth-mindset. Curiosity, in the end, may be the best companion to true grit. Get your gritty self out there and somehow get your hands on Dr. Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit. You’ll be happier that you did. It will improve your outlook on life like it has for me. Grit reminds us that we don’t have to go down that road of learned helplessness. Given enough time and grit, we can make our dreams come true by becoming even grittier.
 Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. You can learn more about him at:

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