Grit: the missing puzzle piece

She was sitting at the table for whole 15 minutes, which for her is already a very long stretch of time. Sighing and whining our daughter was struggling through cursive letters; until finally she angrily dropped the pen. She was fuming and downhearted. That “stupid cursive” failed to obey her. 

“Why can’t you just immediately know how to do it right?!”, — she shouted, her eyes filled with sadness. 

Indeed, why can’t you?… Although I do share her sentiment and I do pity the poor thing with all her struggles, her words made me remember about the concept of grit. 

In a nutshell, grit is a tendency to sustain interest in and apply effort towards long-term goals. Sometimes very long-term goals. 

It is easier when you try something, fail maybe once or twice, but then get up, succeed and progress. 

It is somewhat harder when success calls for a prolonged effort. 

However, it becomes truly tough when you are making tiny and clumsy steps towards something you would only (and maybe) achieve within this and many-many years. 

In our age of instant gratification it is hard to keep this long-term focus; but – and maybe especially due to that – the more valuable it is. Actually grit is exactly that missing puzzle piece of success in anything. It is the ability to persevere, to not give up, to keep on going. You know what they say: you only lose when you decide to give up. It ain’t over till it’s over. If you keep on going, trying, doing, the journey continues. All this Winston Churchill narrative however overused it might be, still is gold. Never never never give up. 

Even seemingly overnight success has many other nights before it. Sleepless nights, ordinary nights, working-and-trying nights and sad nights, when it felt like there is no end to “clumsy cursives”. 

Thus, little one, keep on trying and one day it will all succumb to your efforts! And yeah… obviously, it’s not only our daughter that I address.

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