Have you ever seen a piece of sandpaper, or even better a belt sander?
Its amazing that a tiny little sheet of paper with sand stuck to it is enough to grind away paint, wood, and even hard industrial materials. Sandpaper doesn’t cut through material like a knife or a saw, it grinds it away piece by piece. Its the the texture of the paper that matters, the size of the grit, how strongly it is made that makes all the difference.
We should all be more like sand paper, more gritty, more prepared to grind away the hard things in front of us with persistence and time, but we prefer to be the knife and just cut right through.
Getting things done quickly is always preferable, but there are some benefits to developing the grit we need to get through hard times ahead, because as we all know too well…things aren’t always quick or easy in life.
Grit: an individual’s passion for a particular long-term goal or endstate, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective.
Grit is your ability to push, your ability to grind, and your ability to keep pushing even when things aren’t easy or simple. Grit and a strong focus on the underlying- and GREATER reasons- “why” of what you are doing are what carry you forward when you don’t feel strong enough to do it on your own.
Motivation will come and go, sometimes you are going to wake up and feel pumped up and ready to tackle the day, other days you are going to have trouble getting out of bed: that’s just the reality, but grit is your ability to carry on even when you don’t feel like carrying on, to get up even when you can barely stand.
What qualities and beliefs make up grit?
The knowledge that failure, challenge, frustration, and even exhaustion WILL be part of the process and aren’t to be seen as a sign of things going wrong, but rather that you are stretching yourself to grow as a human being.
Strong positive habits that support positive benefits, because habits will carry you even when you are an autopilot or too tired to think.
A commitment to focusing on your work and not the results (the ability to see the bigger picture and not just your immediate progress)
A deep belief in the work you are doing, and the process that you are going through to get what you want.
Faith that you will get what you are after eventually. (If you doubt this for even a second, that can be all it takes to make you quit).
The benefits of developing grit or being gritty.
Increased work ethic, happiness, and willpower.
Achieve more goals.
Freedom from attachment.
More stable moods.
How to get more gritty?
Ok, so I convinced you to be more like sandpaper, thats great, but how does one develop grit? Grit is developed by committing to cultivating the traits that I listed above.
Figure out WHY you want what you want in life.
Don’t just focus on what you want in life, not only can it cause you to miss the steps you need to take in the moment, but it can de-motivate and discourage you to always stare ahead at something that feels so far away. Take the time to really consider WHY you want what you want in life. Imagine a child asking you over and over again “why?”, “why?”, “why?” keep asking yourself why you want what you want until you get to the core of it. You don’t just want a million dollars to have it, you probably want to provide for your family, give back to your community, or free yourself to do more with your life and time. Figure out your why and picture your why every time you don’t feel like doing the work you know you need to do each day.
Focus on the next actionable task, not on results or problems.
Its good to know what you want in a very distant future, but don’t focus too far out. Don’t think of reasons why you can’t do something, or what is stopping you from acting, but find the next reasonable step you can take to get closer to your goals and make them happen.
Want to lose 100lbs? Focus on the very next thing you can do to make that dream come true: change your diet, throw out junk food, join a gym, find a workout buddy, JUST DO SOMETHING. Don’t sit around thinking all day long, just make a plan and do it. Gritty people aren’t victims, they aren’t helpless, and they don’t care if life gives them lemons, because you know what they are going to turn it into.
Create positive habits that support you to grow and continue forward progression.
If you have a donut shoved in your face while you are hungry, what are you most likely going to do? Unless you have formed some serious self control, you are most likely going to give in and go for it. So what is a good habit to stop eating donuts? Don’t be around donuts, don’t look at them, don’t keep them around, don’t drive past the donut shop on your way to work, avoid people who eat donuts, and find partners to hold you accountable not to eat donuts.
If you don’t want to eat a donut, just avoid the damn donut at all costs; over time, your willpower will get stronger and you will be able to say no on your own. \Positive habits and structures ensure you stay strong, even when you feel weak.
Have faith: in the process, in your hard work, in destiny, and in yourself.
I am not going to tell you about some metaphysical law of attraction. I don’t believe that your thoughts actually influence the universe to give you stuff, but the people who believe that usually get what they are after… so what’s the deal?
Faith keeps you going when nothing else can, when two people want to quit, the person with faith will keep going, while the person without belief will give up. It is simple: if you KNOW that you are going to succeed, nothing else matters, all trials, tests, hardships, failures, and defeats are inconsequential.
When you know that you are going to get what you are after, what can stop you? People who practice get better, people who work hard get results, people who believe in themselves see their potential to make dreams reality, and people who believe in something greater than themselves know that there is a master plan that they are a part of and that no matter what things WILL work out.
Be like sandpaper young grasshopper. Grind through the hard things in front of you one speck of sand at a time, and know that you will succeed.