Unless of course you meant grit, the noun. In that case, I'll take it, with a shot of espresso. If you can only think of grit as a the crap that gets stuck between the tile grout, or as a rough, uncomfortable texture, let me enlighten you about what definition I'm talking about.
Grit, noun: Passion and perseverance in pursuit of long-term goals. Courage and resolve, strength of character.
I recently watched a TED Talk about grit and I absolutely loved it, so naturally I had to blog about it (if you've never listened to or watched a TED Talk, do yourself a favor, please) so if you can't bear to read another word of my jabber, the TED Talk sums up everything one needs to know about the importance of grit in six quick, enlightening minutes.
If you're still reading, I'm sorry to break it to you, but grit isn't something you can consume for breakfast, steaming warm with brown sugar and a pat of butter. It's not like our essential amino acids, that we can get through a healthy diet--if you can't find it within yourself, you're not going to find it anywhere.
I've always liked the word grit. I liked it before I even knew what it meant. At first, I just liked the sound of the word; I liked the way it was said and spoken about in conversation. Maybe it's because whenever I heard the word grit, it was in association with someone I looked up to. To me, the word itself sounds tough and resilient, it's underlying message is, "never back down, never give up."
At a young age I started associating grit with the personality traits of the people I had heard be described as "gritty." Of course, the two people I most commonly associated grit with were my parents. When I was younger, the overbearing characteristic I noticed was toughness. It took me a very long time to figure out just what made my parents tough, though. Toughness has a billion different meanings, so let me clarify that I do not mean stern or macho, or anything physical really, when I talk about toughness. What makes my parents tough is this: they are confident, they believe in themselves, they are hard-working, they remain positive in the face of adversity, and they have never been afraid to fail. All of these things combined are grit, and that grit is translated into toughness, mentally.
Grit, this mental toughness, is perhaps one of the most valuable things my parents have taught me in my short 20 years. They taught me grit in the best way a parent could: by letting me become my own person. They did this with unwavering support, encouragement, and confidence. They have always been there to push me, they have let me fail and make mistakes, and they have always been there to help me back up. Unfortunately I have realized more and more that I am a rare breed of human--it has become increasingly rare to come across parents who are willing to support their children's passions, who are willing to support their children knowing that they could very well fall flat on their faces. Subsequently, it has become rare to come across kids who are gritty.
Obviously no one wants to see someone they care about fail, and as a parent I can only imagine that it is difficult to let your kid go out, knowing that they are probably going to fail and get their feelings hurt, and support them. But this is how we learn.
"While it is tough to let your kids, fail, failure is key in building grit and grit is often the key to success. You have to fall down to get back up."
Luckily my parents knew that. I mean crap, I played every sport you could imagine, and pretty much failed at all of them. When I was in elementary school I wanted to be a gymnast, the problem was that I was already 5'8'' in the 5th grade. Didn't matter, my parents let me try until I figured it out for myself. As they did with every other sport I threw myself into: soccer, swimming, climbing, volleyball, ski racing, and biking.
To this day, my parents have supported every venture I have immersed myself in. As a result, I have learned confidence and perseverance, that I am going to make mistakes, and that I will be able to get back up, rebuild and carry on, no matter if it's regarding sports, school, or other areas of life. I have learned that there are always consequences to my actions, bad and good, and that I have to be willing to face and embrace those consequences. I have learned to walk in the wind--the key is to put your head down and keep pushing, even if it's slowly.
If you didn't watch the TED Talk like I recommended, here is the take away:
Writing is something I have always been passionate about. I love sharing my stories, my thoughts, my advice, but mostly, I write to record memories and express myself. So here are a few of my fondest memories, best and worst moments, my most profound and boisterous thoughts, and riskiest advice. Enjoy!