Today I embark on a new post category for the LLWM community. It’s called: Positive Rants! Why? Cause everyone likes a good rant once in a while, but instead of being totally negative, LLWM is giving a positive twist on the subject. Please add to the rant in the comments–we would love to hear about your experience!
Today’s rant is about “Grit”. Do you know what “Grit” is? No we’re not talking about grits, the oatmeal type of ground corn served in southern cookin’ and no, we’re not talking about how fine or coarse the sandpaper you’re using is, we’re talking about a trait that makes some of the best human beings on this planet. This is why I chose to rant about the lack of Grit in today’s society since it goes perfectly in line with the goals of this community: passionate, positive, motivated, resilient and ambitious group of people we are/strive to be every day!
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “grit” as: firmness of mind or spirit : unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger .
I love this definition. What’s the key word in there that ALL of human kind faces no matter where they come from, what ethnicity they are, what level of education they have etc? It’s “hardship”. We all must learn to go through hardships in our lives, and sadly I think more and more of today’s generation is becoming numb to hardships because they’re being bailed out by their family, governments and/or high amounts of easily acquired debt. Think about it, the ones who are most successful in their lives (and we’re not just talking about money here, but family, health etc.) are the ones who have persevered through many hardships on their own. The other part of the definition “firmness of mind or spirit” and “unyielding courage” speaks to something each and every one of us have choice over. You choose how you deal with a situation. For example, the fresh out of college kid loses his/her first job: Do you move back in with your parents and mooch off of them until you’re 35, or do you suck it up and find 2 minimum wage jobs and find a room for rent until you can save enough to move out? Or the kid in high school getting bad grades: Do you work hard to improve your grades to get into that out of state college with a scholarship, or do you settle for junior college simply because you don’t know what to do with your life and your parents said it’s OK?
Not enough parents today have grit to pass on to their children, or even if they do, they went through such hardship in their own lives that they feel it is their responsibility to protect their children by making their lives as easy as possible. Here’s a hint, you’re not doing them a favor if they don’t learn the value and the results obtained from good old fashion hard work and perseverance. Contrary to belief of today’s “now” generation, people need to learn that not everything should be expected to come right away and somethings take time to yield better results. People want to jump to the “HAVE” stage, without going through the “DOING” stage.
It’s all a matter of choices–and contrary to most people’s beliefs, you have more than you think. Since this community is all about helping each other make better choices, I encourage you to read books about people who have grit. I encourage you to take action and take control of your life, stop riding the wave. Even when you think you have no choice facing an imposed hardship, you still have a choice on how you react to it and what you learn from it.
I leave you one of my favorite quotes from the author Charles R. Swindoll. Please leave me your comments, I would love to see different peoples opinions and experiences on the matter. Cheers!
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.
Here is a wonderful read on the subject: How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough
It’s about how we should be focusing on teaching our kids grit, character and curiosity instead of cognitive skills and standardized testing. Check this book out, a very worthwhile read if you have children and care about what they will become in this crazy world of ours!