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Getting Grit! More than just toughness!!

Updated: Aug 11, 2020

Andrea Seydel Live Life Happy Unconventional Book Club Highlight

Getting Grit: Evidence Based Approach to cultivating passion, perseverance and purpose

What is Grit? How can it help us? Can we get more of it?


Grit is commonly described as perseverance and passion for long term goals.

Caroline Miller, in her her book Getting Grit, teaches the reader how to apply the scientific research on grit and achievement to our own lives. She describes grit as the critical quality that successful people have in common and the quality that allows you to overcome obstacles over many years. She referred to authentic grit, as having the kind of passion that fires you up inside, that energizes you. Authentic grit allows you to persevere, to have bounce back qualities and allows you to be more resilient. She also says authentic grit attaches passion and character strengths to long term goals. Grit seems to be the essential quality and key determinant of success and life satisfaction. Let's look at how we can build our own grit to benefit our lives!! Let's get gritty!


Since science has shown that grit is a key determinant of success and life satisfaction and it allows us to persevere over obstacles, cultivating this quality becomes essential!

Passion: By connecting to your burning #goals, what energizes you and what you wake up for in the morning, you allow passion to drive your purpose. If you feel like you are passionless, you might have temporarily lost track of what lights you up. In Miller's book, she suggests asking yourself these questions: What did you love doing as a child? What activities, people and places give you energy? How do you spend your free time? What do people complement you on? Who are you when you're at your best? Passion can help you build grit!

Happiness: Miller says, "We don't become happy because we succeed. We succeed because we're happy." She suggests pumping up your #happiness as this will create optimal conditions for grit. Some things she suggested to consider from Martin Seligman's Theroy of Wellbeing, are positive emotions, engagement, #positive relationships, connecting to your character strengths, and using wise interventions like positive interactions, journalling, life #coaching, hope, exercise, kindness and meditation. Happiness builds grit.

Risk Taking: Your best life requires and calls for risk. When you take risk you are taking a stand and become the author of your own life. You also have payoff from failure that you can learn and grow from. To build grit, Miller suggests an exercise call three hard things. Document at the end of the day there hard things you tried and journal about it. This exercise builds #selfefficacy, by believing in your self and trying some thing challenging.

Goal Setting: Build a bucket list of things you'd like to accomplish in your life and to be accountable write down these goals. Set unrealistic hard goals to really push yourself towards challenge and greatness. The benefit of goals is that they direct your attention, energize and ignite perseverance. Goals that are intrinsically motivating are key. Make sure your goals are for you and your own reasons. Other peoples goals will not fuel your grit. One exercise she suggests in her book is when you imagine meeting yourself in ten years. It gives you a glimpse of who the best possible future self.

Perseverance: It is recommend that you always have unfinished goals that you are working towards that will pull you forward. Perseverance and constant forward moving will help you to not quit and overcome procrastination. Miller suggest to keep failing forward and embrace every opportunity. She suggests to struggle well but don't quit.

Patience: One of the best ways to also foster grit is to be patient. This will not all happen over night. People who are successful usually do not flourish over night. It takes effort and time. Miller suggests practicing patience by waiting in line, holding a yoga pose extra long and practicing #gratitude. Gratitude will allow you to enjoy the process of reaching your goals. Patience adds an element of self compassion and kindness to your grit.

Self Regulation: Self discipline and regulation is like a muscle. The more you use your muscles the stronger you get. Self control allows you to have the will power to keep working towards your goals. It offers structure to meeting your goals and builds your grit. Limit distractions, choices and build focus, self control and regulate your behaviour to build your grit.

We know grit is commonly described as perseverance and passion for long term goal, but now we know some actionable tools to boost our GRIT so we can be successful and reach all our imaginable dreams!

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