The NEW Definition of GRIT

For a while now, I’ve been wanting to create a new definition for the word Grit. I’ve put a lot of thought into it so here it is and here is my story behind this definition.

My new definition of Grit:

“The unyielding will to keep pushing forward towards a goal despite obstacles, hardships, and a lack of motivation, passion, and energy.”

Since I named my company Grit Army, I obviously like the word Grit. For me it was a word that I used to hear growing up in a small country town in Alabama. The town was full of blue-collar workers and farmers. My grandparents lived on a farm and my parents had a farm as well. My family didn’t live on our farm. We lived about 20 miles from it and my grandparents farm (the land was basically beside each other). Even though I didn’t live on it, I grew up working on it – every Saturday and every summer from the time I was in the 2nd grade till I was a sophomore in college (that’s when I left for Auburn University). Anyways, back to the point. I used to hear the word “Grit” some when I was younger. But that word seemed to have disappeared from my world. I just never heard that word anymore…for years!

Not until I got into OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) towards the end of 2015. Then I started hearing that word and it was being associated with OCR and how it takes Grit to do some of these races. That word brought back a lot of feelings and memories I had working on a farm. For those of you who have never worked on a farm, let me just tell you…it’s hard work! The jobs NEVER end, there’s always something to do, there’s always something broken or needing fixed/repaired, its hot (at least in Alabama and other parts of the south), and if your day actually goes as planned you should consider it an anomaly and feel very blessed!

So when I thought about the Grit from working on a farm and the Grit it takes to do OCR (a new found love I discovered in 2015), my 2 worlds had collided and I now had a new appreciation (on the verge of an infatuation) for Grit. I began seeking out stories of Grit. I loved listening to podcasts, watching videos, and reading stories about individuals who had overcome all sorts of obstacles to achieve goals and dreams. I knew Grit was something that I needed and wanted more of! So I began to work on building up my Grit.

Early on in this process, I came across a TED talk video of Angela Duckworth talking about her research on Grit. I loved hearing about her findings with young children and how Grit was the key to their success (not intelligence or other factors). She even defined Grit as, “Passion and Perseverance for very long term goals.” Initially, I loved her definition.But the more I thought about it and the more I worked on my own Grit, the more I began disliking her definition.

I came to the conclusion that her definition of Grit doesn’t do it justice! It was too “soft.” For me Grit is “harder” and more “powerful” than what she was giving it credit for in her definition! The main word that she uses in her definition that I strongly disagree with is “passion. ”When people are TRULY passionate about something, they will do all sorts of hard things to reach that goal.So for me, that doesn’t make Grit special. Grit is doing the stuff you know needs to get done, when you are NOT passionate about it! Not many people are willing to do that! That takes Grit! When you have NO energy and NO motivation, but you still do the things that need to be done….that’s Grit! It’s finding a whole new gear that you didn’t even know existed! You have to dig deep and block out all the doubts, negative thoughts, pain, and discomfort; and just keep pushing forward! Keep putting one foot in front of the other…one step at a time! Heck, crawl if you have to but keep moving forward! That is Grit! That’s what I came to understand as I began building my own Grit.I found myself purposely looking for the harder route. If I had the choice of two options, I would take the more difficult one. For instance:elevator or stairs? Stairs are harder so take the stairs! Now obviously I don’t do this every single time. But I do it a lot more now than I used to.

Building Grit I had to work on self-denial and self-discipline.

I came to realize that some days were easier than others! Some days I was motivated and feeling good. Those days were easy. Some days I felt like quitting and I had no motivation nor energy. I just wanted to throw in the towel. Those days were tough!But it was days like that, that helped me (and still help me) get better! When I make it through those days (and even weeks, months, etc.) and I keep doing what I need to do to move forward, I feel so much better. I gain confidence in myself which helps with building Grit.

Yes Grit and doing difficult things and overcoming obstacles takes dedication and determination of accomplishing the goal but that does not mean you have a passion towards them. It just means you are committed to finishing; committed to not quitting.

I’ve concluded that Grit is beneficial in every aspect of life – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, relational, in academics, sports, career, business…. I cannot think of an area of life that Grit doesn’t benefit someone. And that’s why I named my company Grit Army. Grit is beneficial to everyone! And I don’t believe you can ever have enough of it. I need more of it and I want my sons to have more of it. I want our world to have more of it. Because that means less whining, less complaining, and less excuses! I think we would all like that! So join with me and lets build Grit!