The temptation to give up is a common one, and nobody is exempt. Failure isn't something many of us can handle gracefully. And even though we know it's a common human condition, we're somehow always surprised when it happens to us.
Hanging in and staying the path is often referred to as Grit.
Grit is passion and perseverance for long term goals
— Angela Duckworth.
Grit is a personality trait possessed by individuals who demonstrate passion and perseverance toward a goal despite being confronted by significant obstacles and distractions. Those who possess grit are able to self-regulate and postpone their need for positive reinforcement while working diligently on a task.
Grit is important because it is a driver of achievement and success, independent of and beyond what talent and intelligence contribute. Being naturally smart and talented are great, but to truly do well and thrive, we need the ability to persevere. Without grit, talent may be nothing more than unmet potential. It is only with effort that talent becomes a skill that leads to success (Duckworth 2016).
Without grit, talent may be nothing more than unmet potential.
An entrepreneurial journey is often beset with setbacks and failures, and a growth mindset allows us to see the opportunities rather than obstacles, constantly learning, evaluating, assessing while keeping the purpose of our business close to our heart, driving us forward. Entrepreneurship can be lonely, and resilience allows us to face this isolation and look after our mental well-being. Confucius famously said, “The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.”
Resilience is a person’s ability to recover quickly from failures and setbacks and adapt to adversity. Having a growth mindset means that you do not accept failure or setback as final. Instead, you believe that challenges can always be overcome because your brain is always able to grow, and adapt, and you are confident in your ability to find alternative solutions and paths if one does not work.
Grit is not something that we are just born with. It is something we can nurture and develop. True grit, resilience, growth mindset is the ability to find the strength and will-power, learning from our mistakes and failures to follow the path and purpose that is of value to us and to the world around us.
Grit: the power of passion and perseverance - Angela Lee Duckworth
In her instant New York Times bestseller, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.”
My best take away from the book was:
Two equations that offer a simple proof for why grit trumps talent:
Talent × effort = skill.
Skill × effort = achievement.
In other words, “Effort counts twice.”
Duckworth is a scholar you have to take seriously. She has been featured in two best-selling books (“How Children Succeed,” by Paul Tough, and “The Power of Habit,” by Charles Duhigg), consulted by the White House and awarded the MacArthur “genius” fellowship for her work on this obviously desirable trait. At the University of Pennsylvania’s Duckworth Lab, grit is gender-neutral. It’s self-control and stick-to-it-iveness. The two big ideas about grit that have made Duckworth famous are first, that it predicts success more reliably than talent or I.Q.; and second, that anyone, man or woman, adult or child, can learn to be gritty.
David Goggins at Moab 240, 2020
“Be willing to go to war with yourself,”
Words of wisdom from David Goggins, one of my favourite ultra endurance athletes. Goggins has been going to war with himself this weekend at the Moab 240, in Utah. Runners traverse desert, canyons and 2 mountain ranges over the gruelling 240 mile loop. Adding to this challenge, athletes need to manage extreme heat during the day and freezing temperatures at night.
After so many race cancellations this year, it’s exciting to follow a major event like Moab 240
In his book “Can’t Hurt Me” Goggins
recounts overcoming his abusive childhood, becoming a Navy SEAL after several unsuccessful attempts and his experiences running some of the world’s toughest ultra races including Badwater 135 and HURT 100. Goggins is inspirational however he is also extreme, he ran the Las Vegas marathon on broken legs in 2005.
Goggins and 2020 race winner Mickey Graglia did not sleep a wink throughout the grueling 240 mile race - that’s insane.
Goggins finished in 2nd place with a time of 63h 21m 29s
Just for kicks, here’s Goggins doing push ups just five minutes after he crossed the line:
It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.
— Confucius (551-479 BC), Philosopher
Confucius, also known as Kong Qui or K’ung Fu-tzu, was a Chinese philosopher, teacher and political figure. His teachings, preserved in the Analects, focused on creating ethical models of family and public interaction and setting educational standards. After his death, Confucius became the official imperial philosophy of China, which was extremely influential during the Han, Tang and Song dynasties.
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”
The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... These are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.
Confucius believed that all people–and the society they live in—benefit from a lifetime of learning and a moral outlook.
Wisdom/What I'm Reading...
Blink, The power of thinking without thinking.
A nonfiction work by Malcolm Gladwell, explores the psychology of snap decisions and quick thinking, illuminating how subconscious biases affect the way we think and behave.
In his book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell describes how there can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis.
most of the time, it makes more sense to rely on your intuition instead of over analysing situations.
There is in all of our brains, Gladwell argues, a mighty backstage process, which works its will subconsciously. Through this process we have the capacity to sift huge amounts of information, blend data, isolate telling details and come to astonishingly rapid conclusions, even in the first two seconds of seeing something. " 'Blink' is a book about those first two seconds,"
The book differentiates between intuitive and articulate thinking
One is extremely fast, it is the one that does its best to keep us safe. The other is more rational. The key to success is being able to harness the correct part of the brain at the right time.
Read the book here: Blink
In Blink, Gladwell outlined three objectives of the book:
Quick decisions can be as good as slow, deliberate decisions.
We need to know when to trust our instincts and when to ignore them.
We can learn to control our snap decisions.
The book began with a powerful story about the sale of a statue to the J. Paul Getty Museum in California. The museum researched the statue at length before purchasing it. However, art experts looked at it and immediately believed something was wrong. They made a snap judgment regarding authenticity. It seems the art experts are right, it is a forgery.
Gladwell introduces the concept of “thin slicing”
Thin-slicing" refers to the ability of our unconscious to find patterns in situations and behaviour based on very narrow slices of experience. It is part of what makes the unconscious so dazzling. But it's also what we find most problematic about rapid cognition. How is it possible to gather the necessary information for a sophisticated judgment in such a short time?
Our brain is like a computer which processes all the knowledge instantly to give the first impression. “Thin-slicing” allows us to make decisions quickly that can be as good as those made cautiously and deliberately. This technique can be learned through practice and controlled to the point when you know you can trust your instincts or not.
Thin-slicing is not an exotic gift. It is a central part of what it means to be human. We thin-slice whenever we meet a new person or have to make sense of something quickly or encounter a novel situation. We thin-slice because we have to, and we come to rely on that ability because there are lots of situations where careful attention to the details of a very thin slice, even for no more than a second or two, can tell us an awful lot.
Read more about the concept of “Thin Slicing” here.
About the Author
Malcolm Gladwell is the author of five New York Times best sellers: The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath. He is also the co-founder of Pushkin Industries, an audio content company that produces the podcasts Revisionist History, which reconsiders things both overlooked and misunderstood, and Broken Record, where he, Rick Rubin, and Bruce Headlam interview musicians across a wide range of genres. Gladwell has been included in the Time 100 Most Influential People list and touted as one of Foreign Policy's Top Global Thinkers.
Widget Of The Week...
I would like to give a shout out to my sister, Vandana, who has undergone a brave and victorious journey to fight breast cancer and through this podcast shares her story to inspire the many amongst us that need the strength, resolve and courage to carry on regardless of the obstacle. It's a story of perseverance and Grit.
She is in an inspiration to many. Growing up with her was a typical example of perseverance, she always pushed the boundaries of what was feasible.
Click here to listen her inspirational story.