Let’s talk about grit. Grit is what separates the winners from the quitters. Grit gets you through the tough times – the struggles. But grit isn’t just about buckling down and doing what is tough for the sake of getting it done. In order for someone to truly possess and exhibit grit, there are three essential things that have to be present:
First, let’s breakdown passion. There seems to be a lot of preoccupation and anxiety around having a true passion. I can’t even count how many times I have heard “do something you love and you will never work a day in your life”…and I hate it. It is so cheesy! Viewing your career through that lens will only set you up for disappointment. Here’s the secret: your passion does not need to be centered on your work. Instead your work can help support your passion. For example, I am passionate about providing experiences for the people that I love. Whether it is a fantastic meal, an unforgettable vacation, or just a calm day spent at home with my family, I want to be able to provide that for them. I don’t start businesses because the business’s mission speaks to me deeply and personally; I start businesses because they allow me to bring good things to the people I love in my life.
Next, let’s talk about persistence. Once you have reverse engineered what you need in order to support your passion (i.e., I start companies so I can provide for my family and friends), you need to be willing to sit down and do the work, because nothing comes easily. There are days when my to-do list feels daunting, and decidedly un-fun, but I always sit down and do the work because I know that the persistence will support my passion. This is how I get what I want. I am willing to run through a wall at work in pursuit of quality and exciting time with the people I love.
Lastly, let’s cover appreciation. Once you have figured out what you want, and what you need to do in order to get it, you need to mentally marry the two through appreciation. There will be days when work isn’t exciting, days in which you really wouldn’t be there if not for the paycheck, but it is essential to remember that without the work, there is no reward. You need to appreciate the difficulties because without them, you won’t be able to truly chase your passion.
So the next time you see someone really buckling down and working hard, it is likely because they have a goal in mind. Their grit is inspired by passion. If you love being outdoors or working with children, it doesn’t mean that you have to become a park ranger or a teacher. Instead, you can find a career that supports weekends in nature or an ability to become a foster parent. So work hard, appreciate the opportunity to get what you want, and enjoy the spoils.