Grit – Passion, Perseverance, and a Growth Mindset

I haven't always held the qualities of a success- and purpose-driven entrepreneur. But it is something I rode into by cosmic chance ever since the beginning of my ultra-endurance journey through life, and it's the reason that in such a short timespan I went from being a 9-to-5 employee through the work week, and sitting in the same pews on weekends as every other dreamer and believer out there, to pursuing my God-given purposes.

Bicycling through Monument Valley, Utah in 100º heat.

One pedal stroke after the next, I've grown through the years from being a normal and mildly timid, carefree, and "lukewarm" child to a man that is purpose-driven, courageous, conscientious, persevering, resilient, and passionate.

This has been the "new normal" for me since around 2013-14 and I just can't comprehend living life any other way now—living to "win the prize". I have such a deep resolve within me for the things I believe in and am pursuing—there's just not enough time each day to satisfy my hunger to be all that I can be and do all that I can do.

It's this grit—the intersection of all these qualities which I've developed overtime and continue to embrace and cultivate—that gives wings to my life to soar high and not grow weary as I scale my purpose through multiple business and non-profit ventures. And it's why I'm so passionate about sharing my life's journey with you.

Persevering 40 mph gusts on top of Patterson Pass in Livermore, California.

Grit: The power of passion and perseverance

In her New York Times bestseller and TED Talk, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.”

Angela has found that grit—a combination of passion and perseverance for a singularly important goal—is the hallmark of high achievers in every domain. She’s also found scientific evidence that grit can grow.

Success is not just about raw talent. Her data shows very clearly that there are many talented individuals who simply do not follow through on their commitments.

According to Angela, "Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it's a marathon, not a sprint."

So what we need, Angela recommends, is "to take our best ideas, our strongest intuitions, and we need to test them. We need to measure whether we've been successful, and we have to be willing to fail, to be wrong, to start over again with lessons learned."

Growing a Growth Mindset

The idea of a "growth mindset" was developed at Stanford University by Carol Dweck, according to Angela, and it is "the belief that the ability to learn is not fixed, that it can change with your effort. Dr. Dweck has shown that when kids read and learn about the brain and how it changes and grows in response to challenge, they're much more likely to persevere when they fail, because they don't believe that failure is a permanent condition."

A shift in paradigm and the resolve to keep going and to keep growing is all it takes to change the trajectory of our lives forever. That's why my constant prayer for myself is "God, please put me in uncomfortable situations where I can learn while I pursue my purposes with passion, and in doing so, experience new dimensions of my own world and the world at large."

If there's one thing I've learned in life it's that we all have to walk through good to get to great, but not everyone has the grit to get going and to keep going by default. The good news is, however, we can all cultivate this quality in ourselves by simply saying "yes I can" and stepping out. It's what I like to call the art of start.

“Don’t search for inspiration when you have a task to do; Just start your work and you will see that it will soon find you.” (Charles Ghigna)

Passion, perseverance, and a growth mindset is all it takes to add grit to your own 3,000 mile journey across your God-given talents, passions, and purposes. The only question remaining is: what extent will you go?

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