What it Means to Be Gritty

Jerry's Big FinishYesterday, my husband finished a marathon.

An achievement for sure. The fact that he’s even walking around today and has already done the grocery shopping is, in my eyes, a mega-achievement. After all, walking to the mailbox can wipe me out.

But, it isn’t the strong finish that I was most impressed by or that he stayed awake on the drive home. Noteworthy, yes. Impressive no.

I was most impressed with all of the work he put in ahead of time. How he prevailed in training.

Almost every Saturday for a year, Mr. J would get up before dawn, throw on his fluorescent running gear, strap on a geeky-headlight so that he could see where he was running in the early-morning darkness, and run for three hours.

He would run at other times too, after work – sometimes around 9 p.m. after he’d put our daughter to bed. Or early, before guests arrived for the holidays. Six days a week he’d run. This went on for nearly a year. He stuck to it. He trained. He prepared. He just kept going.

That takes grit. And that is why, when he came racing over the finish line Sunday morning, I wasn’t at all surprised to see him looking so strong. He was ready before he even started. He had already prevailed.

Grit is the difference maker.

Grit it like persistence and optimism and dedication and resilience all boiled into one super power and researchers like Angela Duckworth say it’s the greatest predictor of success. Gritty people more likely to do the work, put in the effort and see their goal to the end  even when it means climbing out  of a warm bed at 4:30 a.m. to get in 20-miles before your family wakes up.

In Wednesday’s post, I’ll share some of the strategies for expanding on some of the natural grittiness we all posses, but for now consider this:

What are you willing to do to get what you want?

And, how will you keep after it, even when the path is clouded with obstacles and challenge?

What will you do to keep going?

 

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