When most of us use the word Passion, we're referring to an intense desire or enthusiasm for something like improving our health, growing our business or caring for the people we love. However, Passion comes from the Latin root pati which literally means "to suffer and endure."
The positive spark of passion can burn out quickly if we don't learn to develop the perseverance to overcome obstacles and failures that are guaranteed to show up every time we start to do something significant with the one and only life we've been given.
Passion is just not enough for us to maximize our potential. Being persistent and tenacious is essential to our success and well-being, especially on those days we don't feel like doing what needs to be done.
The word Perseverance comes from the Latin root perseverantia and it means "to be strict with yourself" when doing something important.
This philosophy of work and life is summed up beautifully in this quote:
"I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit.
Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'"
~ Muhammad Ali ~
Angela Duckworth calls the combination of passion and perseverance Grit. She wrote a great book on this subject and developed a quick assessment to measure how gritty you are at this point in your life.
If you're interested in discovering your grit score, take a few minutes to complete this self-evaluation. You can also get more information about her book and access the Grit Scale on her site:
To calculate your total grit score, add up all the points for the boxes you circled and divide by 10. The maximum score on this scale is 5 (extremely gritty), and the lowest possible score is 1 (not at all gritty). You can use the chart below to see how your scores compare to a large sample of American adults.
When Angela finished writing her book, she went to her dad, who was suffering from Parkinson's, and told him...
"I'll challenge myself every day. When I get knocked down, I'll get back up. I may not be the smartest person in the room, but I'll strive to be the grittiest."
Next week, I'll share some simple ideas on how to develop the passion and perseverance necessary to live your best life and honor your dad or his memory by getting back up each time life knocks you down.