Life is a marathon. It takes grit.
Real strength is not “I will never fall down”. Real strength is “I’ve fallen down and gotten back up so many times, go ahead and take your best shot, I can take it”.
What is Grit? The definition I’m going with is from this University of Pennsylvania paper. “Grit: perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Grit entails working strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years despite failure, adversity, and plateaus in progress”.
Life is a marathon. It takes grit. A consistent attitude and working towards a goal or direction. We all have the fantasy that when we reach our goal, ie. target weight, salary, finally have the girlfriend or boyfriend, etc. that our work will be done and “no more effort is necessary”.
I know it may be a bit depressing to think that life is constantly having to do the work to reach our desires, but the truth is once you accept that life is always going to require hard work there is peace in that. Because you can then accept that effort is just part of life.
This constant work is required by everyone. Even the person who you think “has it all”. Instead of getting into the mind trap of “if I only looked like her/him…” or “if I had as much money as them…then things would be easier”. Understand, that’s a false reality. Those people have problems and issues and their life requires constant work too. We imagine that other people’s lives are great even when we don’t know their lives at all.
Here are 6 ways in which you can develop grit.
1. Have a purpose and set goals you believe in.
If you’re looking to develop grit, you must have a purpose/goal you believe in. Have a great ‘why.’ If it is a true passion and gives your day to day meaning then this will drive your desire to work on it everyday.
2. Create bold, long-term goals.
When you have your purpose and your life objectives, set some BOLD long-term goals. Bold goals that you don’t know how or when you can achieve that get you excited when you think of that moment when you do achieve them.
3. Remind yourself that you are in a marathon.
True mastery of anything requires years of effort. Be ready for that and realize “instant success” is not feasible. Prepare yourself for the long haul. This way you can prevent being disappointed if you don’t get what you want right away.
4. Prepare for the “ups and downs”.
During any marathon there will be times when you feel invincible and time when all you want to do is quit. The ones that stop won’t achieve their goals and desires. Those that push through the temporary pain and keep moving forward are the ones that will win. Understanding that there will be hard times will prepare you to keep pushing forward when you’re encountering one.
5. Be smart about how you expend energy.
If you go out too quickly, or sprint your will get burned out. A consistent steady pace will get you to the finish healthy and ready.
6. Remember your purpose.
Over many years it’s easy to become distracted and get “off course”. Periodically taking time to remind yourself of you your purpose and objective will help you to keep your eyes on the prize and persevere.