I like the word ‘grit’.
It is short and to the point. It means persistence and tenacity. It has been understood as a virtue since the days of Aristotle.
To me grit is a quiet trait that often goes unnoticed. And yet, it is one of the most important qualities a person can possess.
In life anything that is worthwhile will come with a price. No one starts a new business, or completes an advanced degree, or accomplishes a new personal goal without difficulties.This is often where people get discouraged. Things are tough with any new endeavor. To succeed means learning how to get through the hard times. And often all that is needed is grit – the ability to stick with the plan until completion.
First, no one will ever accomplish anything worthwhile if they fold at the first sign of resistance. How many people could have succeeded had they just had a little grit? How many people could be wonderful musicians today had they just been willing to plow through the practicing of scales when it became tough? You never know what waits just beyond the tough part. And it takes grit to get to the other side.
Second, there is a time when someone needs to abort the plan because it is not going to happen regardless of how much effort is exerted. The problem is knowing when to hold them and when to fold them is not an exact science. It is subjective.
Grit, which can be an incredible virtue can also be a stubbornness that prevents achievement. Knowing when to quit something is as important as knowing when to start something.
Business Guru Seth Godin in his wonderful book called The Dip, said,”we fail when we get distracted by tasks we don’t have the guts to quit.” So there are no easy answers.
My advice to you is don’t quit too soon. Everything that is worthwhile comes with a price. And the price tag can be significant. But for those who have grit the sacrifice is worth it. Do the tough things today that will push you ahead towards the big life you are longing to live.