‘True Grit Isn’t Just A Classic Western & It Comes With A Sweet Centre!’

So, what’s your impulse control like?

Put simply as you may know, this is your ability to postpone or forgo current pleasures in order to gain even greater fulfillment in the future.

In recent pieces on Medium and other platforms, I’ve looked in some detail at the work of Robert Greene and Peter Senge.

I’ve also looked at the differences Nassim Nicholas Taleb identified between the states of being robust, fragile and anti-fragile.

I’ve looked at the work of Anders Ericksson & Malcolm Gladwell and what each had to say about High Performance and putting in the hours to achieve Mastery of a complex skill — About 10,000 if you’re asking!

And I’ve also asked whether or not what follows is the best definition ever of Resilience, by Albert Camus:

“Even in the midst of winter I find within myself an invincible summer”

Hard to top that don’t you think?

Grit, Resilience, Tenacity — indeed what is known in Finland collectively as Sisu — are all key character traits which, can be powerful predictors of success, both at work and in life in general.

In fact, how prepared you were as a child to postpone eating that first Marshmallow, on the promise that if you did you were guaranteed a second one, is another indicator of how successful you might be in later life.

Recent research suggests that such control strongly indicates you will indeed grow-up to be an individual who is willing to persevere, even in the jaws of defeat or failure, &, learn from the experience!

Research by Angela Duckworth & Carol Dweck amongst others, also provide insights into why some individuals accomplish more than others of equal intelligence — IQ on its own it would seem is simply not enough.

According to the work of Angela Duckworth of the University of Pennsylvania, it is not social intelligence, good looks, physical health or IQ which makes the difference and ensures success. In fact it’s Grit — True Grit, described as a passion for long-term goals, coupled with the stamina and perseverance to stick with it!

The big question, which then follows is, “How do you build Grit?”

How do you keep motivated and endure through among the many things life will throw at you, Shakespeare’sSlings & arrows of outrageous fortune”?

Talent certainly isn’t enough either. It takes commitment and follow-through as well and it’s also about what Carol Dweck of Stanford University would describe as a growth-mindset. Which in part is believing that the ability to learn, develop, grow and succeed, is not fixed and things can change through your effort and will.

So, in short, failure or defeats aren’t permanent states!

Which brings us full circle to something which I looked at in another recent piece on Medium where I considered the work of Richard Logan and in particular his ‘Flow Experience’.

This was based on a study of Polar Explorers and Concentration Camp inmates & looked at how they coped, endured, survived. He found that they didn’t doubt their own resources would be sufficient to allow them to shape and even determine their fate, &, they focused their energy and their will on dominating their environment, whilst finding ways to function harmoniously within it.

Another variant of this is the Stockdale Paradox named after Admiral James Stockdale, who survived seven years as a Vietcong POW by hanging onto two contradictory beliefs.

Firstly, that his life couldn’t be any worse at the moment, &, secondly that someday his life would be better than ever.

Jim Collins in his book ‘Good To Great’, identified those companies that were able to make the transition, as the ones most willing to confront the brutal facts of their current reality, yet simultaneously maintaining absolute faith that they would prevail in the end.

So, what should we draw from all of this?

To personally endure whilst ensuring Super Performance — Being your Best self, whether in the work place or in life in general, you need to develop a growth-mindset, be passionate, purposeful and persevere, work on your Grit quotient, be prepared to fail — Fail Forward and learn from it, &, hold onto Facts & Faith — Both at the same time — and Both all of the time!

Paul Mudd is the author of ‘Uncovering Mindfulness: In Search Of A Life More Meaningful’ available on Amazon and www.bookboon.com; the ‘Coffee & A Cup of Mindfulness’ and the ‘Mindful Hacks For Mindful Living & Mindful Working’ series. He is also a Contributing Author to The Huffington Post and a Contributing Writer to Thrive Global. Through The Mudd Partnership he works with business leaders, organisations and individuals in support of change, leadership excellence, business growth, organistional and individual wellbeing and well doing, and introducing Mindfulness. He can be contacted at paul@themuddpartnership.co.uk and you can follow the continuing journey uncovering Mindfulness on Twitter @TheMindfulBook and at @Paul_Mudd