Training Grit

I’m thoroughly enjoying this book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, and I’m about half-way done in just a few days.

It resonates with me for a handful of reasons but there are a few that really have stuck out for me.

The first is how relatable it is for me personally as I take a look at my strange and different and winding career path. I have tried a handful of things, failed at a ton, but I have kept going, moving one foot in front of the other and I have worked hard to do as much good as I can in those particular seasons.

Grit, apparently, is much more about perseverance in the face of adversity than most things and I have encountered many successful people in my field (and beyond) that have exhibited nothing more than a decision to simply not quit.

Their motives may differ, but, their decisions to continue to show up and to do the hard work is consistent throughout. I like that a lot.

The second thing has allowed my wife and I to chat thoroughly about our own parenting styles and how we want to raise our own kids. Essentially, we want to train them and encourage them to have as much grit as possible.

Our goal isn’t that they become the best in their field or even that they become an expert at any one thing. Rather, we want them to be eternally curious about their world and to engage fully with it holding very little (if anything) back.

And when the world fights back and kicks them to the ground, we want them to not become discouraged but rather see that as a natural consequence of them trying new things. We want them to have the mettle to recover quickly, to enjoy the process, and to live a full and beautiful life of discovery and self-discovery.

I can’t imagine that what I’ve written above is anything different than what many other parents dream for their kids. The question and difference, though, is how explicitly and intentionally we, as parents, engage with our kids on these specific things.

Part of what I plan on doing is to simply talk to my children more about perseverance, not giving up, and encouraging them to try as many things as they possibly can while they have time and energy.

A full (and successful) life is one where they leave this planet knowing as much as they can about it, one where they appreciate the time that they’ve had, and one where they’ve left it in a better place.

The only way that they’ll be able to do all those things is through grit. I’m sure of it.

[My two girls are at surf camp this week as you can see here so that’s why the featured image above is a surfer; it’s just been on my mind!]


Also published on Medium.