The Resiliency/Grit Development Challenge – Day 11 – Finding Your Grit

The Idea

Resiliency and Grit are learned behaviors that enable us to not only survive, but thrive in the face of adversity.  This is your 11th of 14 daily messages, each containing an exercise designed to strengthen your development of these two key skills.  Keep a journal, record your reflections and chronicle your growth.

Exercise #11 (Thanks to James Clear)

Ever have one of those days when you just want to throw in the towel or say, “That’s it, I give up!”?  We all do, and it has become easier in our COVID world because the rules and expectations change daily.  Next time that happens, use the following five reminders to recharge your grit, and get back in the game.

  1. Your Mind is a Suggestion Engine – Consider every thought you have as a suggestion, not an order.  For example, your mind may suggest that you are too tired.  It is suggesting that you give up, and take an easier path.  However, pause for a moment and seek new suggestions.  Your mind is also suggesting you will feel very good about accomplishing this work once it is done.  It is suggesting that you will respect the identity you are building when you stick to the schedule.  It is suggesting that you have the ability to finish the task, even when you don’t feel like it.  Remember, YOU have the power to choose which suggestion to follow. 
  2. Discomfort Is Temporary – When we look at the bigger picture, nearly any habit you perform is over quickly.  Your workout will be finished in an hour or two.  Your report will be typed to completion by tomorrow morning.  This article will be finished in just a moment.  Here’s the reality, life is easier now than it has ever been.  Five hundred years ago, if you didn’t kill your own food and build your own house, you died.  Today, we whine about forgetting our iPhone charger.  Discomfort is there to remind us how good completion feels.  Maintain perspective.  Your life is good and your discomfort is temporary.   Step into this moment of discomfort and let it strengthen you.
  3. You Will Never Regret Good Work Once It is Done – Theodore Roosevelt famously said, “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”   Too often it seems that we want our work to come easily.  We want our work to be helpful and respected, but we do not want to struggle it.  We want our stomachs to be flat and our arms to be strong, but we do not want to grind through another workout.  We want the final result, but not the failed attempts preceding it.  We want the gold, but not the grind.  Think about something, have you ever found yourself feeling worse after the hard work was done?   Have there been days when it  felt impossible to start, but when you finished wanted to do a fist pump?   Sometimes, the simple act of showing up and displaying the courage to do the work, is a victory worth celebrating.
  4. This Is Life – Life is a constant balance between giving into the ease of distraction or overcoming the pain of discipline.  Our lives and our identities are defined in this delicate balance.  What is life, if not the sum of a hundred thousand daily battles and tiny decisions to either gut it out or give it up?  This moment when you don’t feel like doing the work is not a moment to be thrown away. Life is not a dress rehearsal.  This moment is your life as much as any other moment.  Spend it in a way that will make you proud.
  5. Let the World Decide – So, what do you do when you feel like giving up?  Show up!  It may not be at your best, but it is not your job to judge how good or bad it is.  Your job is to persevere, do the work, and let the world decide! 
Embrace the Challenge!