There are many people on this planet, have been a lot through out the years. Some stand out and accomplish extra ordinary achievements while others, perhaps even more physically capable, more intelligent, better capable flame out and fail. What is the difference between these two types of people? How is it two people can enter into the same arena whether it be a sporting match, a training exercise, or on the battle ground and one will quit or fail under pressure while the other one exceeds all odds and triumphs? It’s sometimes the story we love, where the underdog triumphs.
This is the thing we call grit. When training with Guro Mike Wise he told me the thing he feared most while on the LAPD wasn’t the best fighter or best trained martial artist in the world, it was the 140 pound scrawny kid from South Central Los Angeles who had to fight for everything they’ve ever had and had nothing to lose.
Can Grit be taught, or is it an trait we are born with? Do people who have Grit group together as friends or is it something they are even unaware they have until it comes time which they need to draw on it? I feel many of these questions will remain unanswered. Many of us may indeed have that trait within and are unaware of it until the time comes when we ned to draw on it. How will you truly know weather you will fail or prevail in a time of emergency until you are tested?
Take a moment and look back through your life and reflect on the moments where you were put to the test, not just physically, but emotionally and think of how you reacted and then how you acted. We have all been faced with some sort of adversity, a moment where a choice or action had to be made in a millisecond. Perhaps it was when a relative or friend died and others needed support, or someone next to you stepped off a curb at the wrong moment. Were you able to take action with out thinking? Those are reactive moments which could open the window on one form of grit. Other times we have time to look at a situation and create a plan of attack. Were you able to clearly and concisely come up with a strategy to overcome great odds?
If you’re wondering if you have Grit, you can take this on line survey from the University of Pennsylvania. It’ll take you less than 5 minutes to complete the survey – I’m not sure how accurate it can really be, but it’s a fun little survey. Below are a couple videos which I think will show you what Grit is. If it stirs butterflies in your stomach and gives you a sense of needing to do something you are passionate about, you may have Grit. If it does not, then you might not have those traits. They are about Ultra Running which may not be your thing but I think they should trigger the inner drive in all of us.