Thursday, January 30, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 30

Imagine what could be accomplished if no one ever gave up.

I don't tend to disagree with Yoda, but on this one I do.  There is a "try," and we all need to become very familiar with it.

Our ability to persevere is based on a number of different factors, all of which play a role in the type of leader and learner we are and will become.  Regardless, the importance of "stickwithitness" can't be under emphasized.  If we give up too early, we never accomplish the goals we've set.  Shouldn't we expect the world to challenge us?

Of course, we have to balance this with not becoming obstinate.  No matter how many times you bang your head against a brick wall, and no matter how hard you try (don't try too hard, please) that brick wall isn't going to move.

So, if we can't give up too easily, but can't try too hard, where does that leave us?  Realistically, that's the wrong question.

You see, realistic goals are what separates scenarios where giving up is the only option from those where hard work pays dividends.  With a realistic goal, people have to work very hard to meet it, but the goal can be met, so there is never any reason to give up.  A goal that is too easy doesn't build grit or perseverance, and one that is too hard encourages obstinate behavior or simply throwing one's hands up.  So, our ability to grit through a tough situation is all about the goal we're trying to reach.

What that means for learners and leaders is that the goals we set for ourselves and others play a role in how well we can build grit; generate realistic and well-defined goals, and at least some aspect of grit will build itself.

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