July 1st is the official half-way point of the year.
Have you created meaningful progress on the New Year's Resolutions you made six months ago?
Are you, your team and your family healthier, happier and more productive today than in December of 2018? If your answer is 'yes,' you've demonstrated grit and you're part of a gritty community.
Or...Have you quit going after an important goal you wanted to accomplish this year because it was too hard for you to do?
As I mentioned in my last article, grit is having the passion and perseverance to achieve your most important long-term goals. Unfortunately, too many people have a high level of enthusiasm at the start of the year or beginning of a project, but a low level of endurance for sustaining the hard work required to accomplish the results they desire.
According to the "U.S. News & World Report," the failure rate for the resolutions made each year is 80%, and most lose their resolve by mid-February.
A resolution is a formal expression of your commitment to consistently take actions that increase your chances of victory. It's a promise you make to yourself about what you will and won't do to win whatever challenging game you choose to play. It's also acknowledging that frustration and failure are inevitable when trying to win a difficult game you've never won. (You don't need grit for easy games.)
You can choose to avoid the pain of losing and not have to deal with disappointment by staying in your comfort zone. However, that plan guarantees you won't thrive because the thrill of victory does not exist without the agony of defeat.
There are 187 days left in 2019. If you want to Grow Your Grit over the next six months and develop the passion and perseverance required to win in a world that's constantly changing, you'll have to make some gritty decisions. Grit is like a muscle...it gets stronger or weaker depending on the choices you make every day.
If you're ready to get grittier, you have to identify ONE thing you have a strong desire to accomplish, that will be hard for you to do and it will have a positive impact on other people's lives. (Narcissistic leaders can have grit but their passion and perseverance to accomplish goals brings out the worst in people.)
Caroline Miller, Author of Getting Gritty, calls this authentic grit.
"Authentic Grit is the passionate pursuit of hard goals that awes and
inspires others to become better people, flourish emotionally, take
positive risks and live their best lives...A common denominator of
Authentic Grit is that the people who possess it never diminish the
people they touch; they almost universally cause them instead to
become happier or better in some way."
You wouldn't be given a desire that requires authentic grit unless you were also capable of making that dream come true. The origin of the word desire comes from the Latin De-Sire which means "of the Father,". The noble goal that you keep thinking about is a gift from your God. You are reminded of it in the shower, when walking in nature or when you hear about a problem that your instincts encourage you to do something about.
It's very difficult to sustain your effort and overcome obstacles when you don't have a strong conviction or calling that influences your action. (If the alarm clock is the only thing that wakes you up in the morning you have a job not a dream.)
You're not called to solve the entire problem, just do what's in your control to do. Don't worry about the details now, just identify your dream and spend some time everyday thinking about why it's important to you. It's also helpful to reflect on how your world will be a better place if you do what that "still small voice" tells you to do.
Remember, Martin Luther King's famous speech was I Have A Dream, not I have a strategic plan.
Don't wait for next year or until you think the "time is right". Take positive action today. Write your dream down and then ask yourself...
"What's one thing I can do today that will help me get closer to making my dream come true?"
The people you work with, live with and serve will all benefit if you do what you know needs to be done.
Next week we'll talk about practicing self-control so we can stay focused on our long-term goal and avoid the hourly temptations that bring temporary pleasure followed by immediate regret.