We tend to believe that factors outside of ourselves play the key role in our success. Factors like IQ, the income bracket we are born into, or the prestige of the school we’ve attended. Actually what matters more than any of this is - GRIT.
Grit, as Angela Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania describes it, is passion and perseverance towards a very long-term goal. It’s the determination to continue working despite what obstacles you face along the way.
In the summer of 1990, Joanne Rowling – better known as J.K. Rowling – was on a train from Manchester to London when suddenly an idea popped into her head.
“I saw Harry! I could see him very clearly - this scrawny little boy. And it was the most physical rush of excitement. I’ve never felt that physical reaction to anything about writing before.”
14 years later, J.K. Rowling became the first billionaire author, ever!
But her journey from that train - when Harry Potter was a simple idea - to him being an international icon, was far from easy.
For the next 7 years of her life, J.K. Rowling was in a constant struggle. She had a child, followed by a messy divorce in Portugal. Then she moved to Edinburgh, Scotland and lived as poorly as you possibly could without actually being homeless.
She dealt with doubt, fear and even clinical depression. She was living a harsh life and was constantly told by both publishers and peers that children's books like Harry Potter simply were not "marketable" anymore.
“There were some days that I was so depressed that I could not even bring myself to write. And the only pleasure I found in life was when I was writing! So you can imagine just how depressed I was."
Yet despite her depression, despite her poverty, and despite her relatively small chance of success, J.K. Rolling didn’t quit. She wrote and wrote and wrote until finally Harry Potter hit the shelves and became an international sensation. And turned J.K. Rowling into a billionaire.
This relentless perseverance is not just a trait held by J.K. Rowling. When we take a look at the top performers in any field, we can see countless examples of them overcoming great odds in pursuit of one very specific goal.
Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, was born in the housing projects in Brooklyn and had to work tirelessly in order to afford college. Then when he was trying to get Starbucks off the ground, he spent an entire year getting rejected by over 200 investors who did not believe that people would buy a $4 coffee
Grit is what J.K. Rowling had when she would not stop writing her book. Grit is what Howard Schultz had when he would not stop pitching his business, and grit is what Kobe Bryant had when he would not stop practicing his basketball skills. No matter what the domain, grit is a proven factor of success.
Grit is not only hard work. It's about focus, dedication, willpower and perseverance.
In Ancient Greek folklore, a phoenix is a long-lived bird that cyclically regenerated or is otherwise born again. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes.
This is symbolic to never giving up, accepting failure as a way of life, getting back on our feet and running even faster than before every time we fall.
I associate many aspects of my career and making thus far in relation to “The Phoenix”
Failure has only made me stronger, more resilient and even more focused to achieving greater results in the future.
As this bullet is all about perseverance, I thought to share my motivation and inspiration to get out of bed at 4:30 AM every morning.
There’s no hack for waking up early, says Jocko Willink. Rather, “What you need to do is, when the alarm goes off, you get up and you go get some,”
“That’s what you do. Impose discipline on your life. That’s the way it works.”
Willink, who wakes up at 4:30 a.m., says that anyone has the capacity to become a morning person. Having the discipline to wake up early isn’t something that you’re “born with,”
The decorated ex Navy seal says. “You just decide that’s what you’re going to do. … You choose to live your life that way.”Or, he adds, “you can decide that you’re not going to be that way. You can decide that you’re going to stay in bed. You can decide that you’re not going to attack the day when the day is attacking you. You can make those decisions, but I’ll tell you, it is much, much better to go through life attacking days than it is to go through life getting attacked by days. Don’t let that happen. Go on the offence.”
To explore more - click here
Wisdom/ What I'm Reading...
Choose Yourself by James Altucher
“If you don’t choose the life you want to live, chances are, someone else is going to choose it for you. And the results are probably not going to be pretty.”
— James Altucher
This is a simple book to follow and relate to. The Key premise is to take charge of your own life, your circumstance and hence your future.
Although this is a fairly old book, I chose it today because our current world order resonates with the context this book eludes to. There is going to be tremendous changes in our work style and lifestyle. This book can be used as a guide to change our approach to work, life, health and mindset.
James Altucher is not a self proclaimed self-help guru. He prefers to think of his writing as an autobiography, he writes about his journey, what’s worked for him and is cognisant that what works today may change tomorrow.
By writing candidly about his own triumphs and flameouts, Mr. Altucher “shows readers how they can succeed despite their flaws, not because of a lack of flaws,” said Tim Ferriss, author of the best-selling “4-Hour” self-improvement series. “This is hugely refreshing in a world of rah-rah positive-thinking gurus who are all forced smiles and high-fives.”
There is a famous saying:
‘The learned man aims for more. But the wise man decreases. And then decreases again’.
A key tenet of the book is the Daily Practice, a wellness regimen that comprises the physical (eat well, try to go to sleep by 9 p.m. and rise by 5 a.m., break a sweat for at least 10 minutes a day), emotional (be around people you love, who love you), mental (write a list of 10 ideas each day to exercise the “idea muscle” before it atrophies) and spiritual (feel gratitude every day).
The 4 Pillars.
On Entrepreneurship he claims: “The only skills you need to be an entrepreneur are the ability to fail, to have ideas, to sell those ideas, to execute on them, and to be persistent so even as you fail you learn and move onto the next adventure”
Choose Yourself, which Altucher self-published on Amazon, sold more than a half-million copies, he said, and made The Wall Street Journal’s best-seller list.
“He’s the Oprah of the internet,” said Kamal Ravikant.
If you haven’t yet seen his blog, you should give it some of your time here:
His podcast series is also great:
The 5-Year Rule: How to Create the Future You Want
The concept here is that 5 years is not really that long. Actually it’s only 260 weeks, I have been blogging for 21 weeks now and it seems like I started a few weeks ago.
Think about your education, profession, craft or a serious hobby. It takes 5 years or so to become really good and successful at something. The only way you would have perfected any of these actions is by starting somewhere and envisaging an outcome.
The key is to start with a meticulous plan. The plan is not the goal, the goal should be growth.
Growth is achieved through small incremental gains on a continuous basis. Regardless of the results you seek to achieve, a plan to achieve a little bit extra on a regular basis forms a sustainable long term plan. The outcome (what you look like) in 5 years is the compound result of these incremental gains.
Anthony Ong, professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology and professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, compares our emotional landscape to an ecosystem: “Emodiversity draws from research in the natural sciences on the benefits of biodiversity,” he says. An environment is healthier when various species all serve their own functional roles, and suffers when any one species is depleted or becomes overabundant, throwing off the balance. Similarly, he explains, emotions serve functional roles for people, helping them prioritize and regulate behavior to adapt to a given situation.
Positive emotions are often synonymous to — happiness, but they also included enthusiasm, determination, pride, inspiration, and strength.
Negative emotions are - sadness, anger, shame, and guilt.
Emodiversity is measured by the number of different emotions a person feels, as well as the overall distribution and the number of times each emotion was experienced. (“Specifically, low emodiversity is characterised by emotional experiences that are relatively homogeneous and concentrated in a few emotion categories.
Most of us aim for emotional stability. That usually means opting for a few manageable emotions — preferably positive ones like happiness, gratitude and contentment — and avoiding all the rest. Maintaining an even emotional keel, we’re told, is the best way to boost our physical and mental well-being.
But is it?
Well, not exactly, according to recent research. Perhaps it’s counterintuitive, but evidence increasingly shows that residing in a narrow emotional bandwidth may give you a "cool as a cucumber" aura, but it doesn’t keep your mind and body healthy. Rather, it’s your ability to experience a diverse range of emotions in fairly equal measure — called emodiversity or emotional diversity — that’s good for you. In other words, the more emotions you feel (even negative ones, according to some research), the merrier you’ll be.
Take the test and determine the level of emotional diversity:
Widget of the Week...
Poet Ali is a compelling performer and identifiable speaker who inspires people to approach and understand their problems from unique perspectives. His performances, presentations and writing focuses on the human spirit. It is the light, he emits and the reflects, which best guides the course of his profound impact on the hearts of his audience.
When we listen to that voice… The one inside us that says, “Take a Chance.”
Magic Happens. Let’s make some magic!
One of the most inspirational performances he has overrated speaks about language.
Language is about making a word meaningful not about understanding the meaning of a word.
Laughter and music are the most universal languages
they transcend explanation and convey a profound amount of meaning
The language of experience -
there is no motivator greater than deficiency
speaking the language of the minority is one of the most powerful languages you can speak - how you feel in that position of compromise directly impacts how you act in that position of power.
Poet Ali: The language of being human
You must listen to this - all the way through.
The answer to last week's puzzle
Hope you enjoyed the mental workout. For more, click here