Grit, with its intensity, diligence, perseverance, and passion-against-all odds qualities, is a character trait I most heartily pursue and value. I have tried, not only to apply grit to my relationships and dreams, but also to nurture it in the lives my children and students. At times however, it feels like grit punches you in the face. Some weeks, it’s not just one punch, but many-like grit’s suddenly turned into Cobra Kai‘s John Kreese and is relentlessly driving fists into you without mercy.
When it feels like grit has been a brutal traitor (and it feels like it’s been happening to me a lot recently…hence this post), and like passion, hope, time, effort, perseverance, diligence, and love have been mismanaged, what is there to do? Curl up and disappear? Shift into a low gear? For example, I’ve felt like disappearing in the face of hurtful relationships, and like quitting when confronted with the disappointment of projects like my attempt at-a-book, Mirror of Sparrows. So what do I do now? Well, I’m finding my answers are leading me to an unexpected place.
After praying and mulling over my heartaches, I’ve realized the following: my drive is not fueled by results. My core values are what fire my engines up. And understanding the distinction between fueling off of results versus fueling off of values has helped clarify grit for me. In the short term, my disappointments may feel like grit punching me in the face. But in the long run, people and projects are not my true goal. My true goal is to live by my core values, and, grit and grace will get me there. For example, I am committed to being a loving person even if certain relationships don’t work out. And, I’m committed to being a writer even if my first story wasn’t as cool as I thought it was.
Let me know your insights! And my prayer for you, reader, is that you would be encouraged and full of grit in pursing the best parts of who you are, no matter what punches life may throw your way (I feel a Rocky quote coming on here).
“You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward.“―Rocky Balboa to Rocky Balboa, Jr. in Rocky Balboa