Napoleon Hill found from over 20 years of study that highly successful people had grit as a key factor. To be fair, he said “persistence” but, as I’ve come to know the definition of persistence it’s the same as grit.
Hill claimed, and I believe it, that there is no substitute for grit and if a person does not possess grit, she rarely, if ever, achieves a noteworthy success.
The challenge becomes that being gritty is really hard when it comes to long term goals and objectives. When our work moves beyond the short term hanging in there is difficult. It seems like today as we lead in life it’s even more challenging.
Because of 2 key killers of grit that have ambushed our thinking.
We live in a culture that wants results instantly. Short-term thinking might enable you to win a video game, but it doesn't work when we are pushing to create extraordinary impact in business and life. The first killer of grit is immediate gratification.
When it comes to immediate gratification - I struggle more than most. I struggle because my natural pattern of thinking, feeling and behaving can be described as an activator. I hate to wait long enough to map an appropriate plan. However, success-driven impact happens when we carefully strategize, plan and map our way to lasting impact.
The second killer of grit is distraction. Think of it this way. We are subjected to the same amount of information in a day that people living a hundred years ago were subjected to in their entire life. Distractions undermine focus and impede our impact. This hinders our ability to be gritty.
So, here's a powerful insight to help develop grit in life.
It's called mindfulness.
Think of it this way…Everything has an incubation period. For example, we know human reproduction takes around 40 weeks, and, when you plant a seed there is a process of growth that happens. It’s called a gestation period.
What if we think of our ‘thoughts’ as a non-physical seed? Our thoughts need time to mature and gain momentum. If you’re going to move a thought into action it takes intention, focus, a plan, and most importantly, an action.
Giving ourselves mental space to think our ideas into action is what I call mindfulness. Rarely, if ever, does successful impact happen by sheer accident.
In order to avoid those things that ambush our grit we need to understand that for a seed to become a fully-fledged vegetable it takes time. Grit helps us hang in there as we are watching our ideas, dreams and visions take root.