The first step in my journey toward grit

Have you ever seen a TED talk? I’m betting most of you have. But have you ever seen a TED talk that changed your life? Well, in 2014, my life changed forever after watching one on YouTube. I was standing in my master bathroom, looking at myself in the mirror, getting ready to go to work, just as I normally do. I was home alone. 

As I looked at myself in the mirror on that day, I asked myself three simple questions.

“Who am I?” “What am I here to do?” and “What’s my purpose?”

And you know what? I couldn’t answer a single one. 

Not even close. It scared me. To think at 35 years old, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. So that day, I decided to call in sick to work; I wasn’t going to go. Something was telling me at that particular moment in my life, work just wasn’t a priority. It was time to make myself a priority for once. So, I stayed home. And I did what many people do. 

I went to YouTube thinking maybe a video would help, and I typed in the same thing, “passion and purpose.” This resulted in another several million hits. But this time, one particular video stuck out to me on the first page of results.

It was a six-minute TED Talks video on something called grit, delivered by a psychologist named Angela Duckworth. You may or may not have seen this TED Talks conference, but I’ll sum up her message. She claims that grit is the number-one indicator and predictor of success in life. And you know what? Scientists still know very little about how to build it and grow it.

Angela’s definition of grit is the power of passion and perseverance toward reaching a long-term goal. Grit also means courage, resolve, and strength of character. As Angela points out, grit can be grown from the inside out and also from the outside in.

That got me wondering, how many goals and dreams have I given up on in my life? A lot more than I care to admit.

Angela also provides a free grit test you can take to get your own score. I thought I was tough and figured, why not, I’ll take this test that will prove to me what I already know . . . that I’m a boss. At least, that’s the lie I told myself. You can find her grit scale here:

Grit Scale | Angela Duckworth 

It’s only 10 questions, and I encourage you to take it, just like I did. On a scale of0 to 5, with 0 having no grit and 5 being the grittiest toughie on the planet, I scored a whopping 2.2. Good enough to score higher than 20% of Americans, according to the results. I guess you could say I just wasn’t that gritty, and that did not sit well with me at all. I started to question everything. 

The message that resonated with me was that I needed to grow my grit and resilience . . . but how? 

It all starts here

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