Grit

“Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” -Angela Duckworth

 

TASK AT HAND: This week I’m thinking about grit. A trait commonly alluded to while, at the same time, rarely well-defined or understood. Most people identify grit as a requisite trait for success yet few can define its crystalline qualities. On today’s Sunday Surgical Scrub, let’s deconstruct the quality of grit and find ways which you can develop more of it.

What is grit?

Merriam-Webster defines grit as “firmness of mind or spirit” and “unyielding courage in the face of hardship”. In my opinion, the former definition lacks direction as it tends to imply “strength” without context. However, the latter definition is right on! Grit is the ability to withstand hardship without compromise to integrity, intuition and individuality. Grit allows your character to carry on despite conflicts and confusion. Without grit, you risk being swallowed by the tides of misfortune and disaster. Like the opening quote by Angela Duckworth, you can think of grit as the kind of energy and focus that allows you to push through the pain and fatigue of a marathon; having the dedication and courage to continue when all you want to do is quit.

“Grit is the ability to withstand hardship without compromise to integrity, intuition and individuality.”

How do I acquire grit? How do I get more of this ephemeral quality?

This is a question I am frequently asked. First, I do not believe that you are binary in this regard; i.e., you are either born with grit or not. To the contrary, grit can be pursued the same manner meaning in sought when faced with despair. If grit is the ability to maintain courage and withstand hardship, then surely discomfort is the surest path to this goal. 

How do you know if you have the necessary grit to face hardship? 

Start by reveling in instances of discomfort. If these occur, don’t retreat. Instead, maintain focus on your goals and ensure your objectives remain intact. When faced with a negative fury, brace and stay committed to what brought you there. See it through and you will find that it was grit that accompanied you across the finish line.

“If grit is the ability to maintain courage and withstand hardship, then surely discomfort is the surest path to this goal.”

I do not wish you calamity or disaster, but discomfort is ok. The call to action from today’s Sunday Surgical Scrub is, over the next week, look for instances of discomfort. Identify what makes the situation or scenario uncomfortable. Next, align the original motives that brought you there and make sure you see them through. Take joy in these instances and you will begin to find that discomfort is a challenge with positive consequence irrespective of a negative result.

 

MEDICINE & MACULA: It was fantastic to be an expert guest on The Don and Gino Radio Show and their new series, Interview With The Giants!

We discussed how to get uncomfortable, leadership and effective management strategies, Citrus Therapeutics and, of course, the effect of procrastination on decision-making. You can find the entire interview here.

You can also find the interview according to 4 topical segments via the YouTube links below. Many thanks again to Don & Gino!!

 Segment 1

Segment 2

Segment 3

Segment 4

 

GRATIS: Happy Labor Day and may you find joy in the celebration of hard work!

 

My best to you,

David Almeida

david@davidalmeidamd.com

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