The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward. Robyn Davidson
Grit is being able to keep going when you’d rather quit. Choose your goal, starting is half done. I was in Indigo my favorite haunt the other day and I saw a book on Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. The author states her father always said “you’re no genius.” To her surprise she won an award for genius. Upon reflection she realized she didn’t think she was a genius, the secret to outstanding success was not talent, but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls grit. Her book is inspiration for non geniuses everywhere.
We need to make a decision of where to focus our energies. We need to have a hierarchy of goals that support each other. Some of us have big lofty goals, but we don’t have anything underneath to make those goals happen. Some of us are working hard but we don’t have a goal we are working toward.
We need to connect the dots so we have the goal we are working toward and also the small and intermediate goals that lead to that achievement. At the writers group last week the speaker said she knows an author who couldn’t wait to put her book on Amazon. Wow, what an accomplishment she was finally a published author. She waited for the sales to come rolling in, but none came.
She had the goal and the perseverance to write, edit and publish the novel on Amazon. She had no way to let readers know she had written a book or what it was about. Her book was lost in the millions of self published books on Amazon.
Her book may yet be found by someone who realizes how great it is. Being published on Amazon may be better than not being published at all. The speaker at the Writers Group was letting us know not to be too impatient about getting our first book out there. After all the unknown author like the unknown song writer, band, artist could be the next great thing if found by those who will make them great.
True grit is making a decision and standing by it, doing what must be done. No moral man can have peace of mind if he leaves undone what he knows he should have done. John Wayne
Every great artist, band, writer was unknown at one point. There are people whose sole goal is to find the next great or near great song, band, artist, and writer. Fame is not necessarily something to be desired, or so it seems from all the cautionary tales we hear. A modicum of recognition for our work may be where the magic lies.
It might be almost as much of a boost to win best speaker at Toastmasters as big awards. After all when you get up in the morning you have to keep going forward with your life. Big awards may be a letdown as you realize you are unlikely to reach that pinnacle again.
Cultivating tenacity, persistence, goal setting and taking the next step, and having the determination to get up when we fall determines our life. In every area of our life we are tested, we fail, we wish we’d made a different decision we feel we aren’t good enough as parents, spouses, workers, bosses, artists.
We will never be perfect. The speech will never be perfect. The song will never be perfect. The painting will never be perfect. We will never be perfect parents raising perfect kids. We need to live with imperfection in our self and others, embrace the gifts we and others have, with grit and determination build the best life we can for our children and the future.
The most important job we’ll ever have is raising the next generation. It is a job that takes so much time and energy other goals get put aside. If we can only do one big thing well, raising our children well is the one to choose.
Angela Duckworth’s book is not a parenting book, but she talks about parenting and being an effective parent, how to raise children with grit and determination.
When you feel like quitting think about why you started. Unknown
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Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance Paperback – August 21, 2018