Tag Archives: perseverance

Book Recommendation: Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

21 May

If you have not yet heard of – or read – the book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth, I highly recommend it.

Grit is a must-read book for anyone striving to succeed – parents, students, educators, athletes, and businesspeople.  Ms. Duckworth shows readers that the “secret” to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.”

In the first part of the book (the first five chapters), Ms. Duckworth discusses what grit is and why it matters.

The second part of the book (chapters six through nine) reveals how to grow grit from the inside out – how we can develop grit.

The third, and final, part of the book (the last four chapters) focuses on how to grow grit from the outside in – how we can help (parent, coach, and teach) others to develop grit.

My favorite part of the book (and it’s all terrific) is chapter 3, which is titled, “Effort Counts Twice.”  In this chapter, the author discusses the relationship between talent and achievement, and why any effort we make ultimately counts twice toward our goal.

talent x effort = skill

skill x effort = achievement

It’s unlikely that talent, alone, can help people achieve success.  However, when we apply effort to talent, it can become skill.  Likewise, when effort is applied to skill, it can result in achievement – success.  I love this!

Also among Grit‘s valuable insights are:

  • How grit can be learned, regardless of IQ or circumstances
  • How lifelong interest is triggered
  • How much of optimal practice is suffering and how much is ecstasy
  • Which is better for our children – a warm embrace or high standards
  • The magic of the Hard Thing Rule

Grit is a book about what goes through our heads when we fall down, and how that – not talent or luck – makes all the difference.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Your Failures are Behind You — Move on

16 Apr

“What to do with a mistake: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.” – Dean Smith

At some point, we’ve all experienced failure.  None of us succeed at everything we do, all the time.

And one of the major obstacles to success — one of our biggest fears in life — is fear of failure. It’s the main reason that prevents us from realizing our full potential and achieving our goals. Fear of failure paralyzes us, limits us to our comfort zones, prevents us from moving forward in life, and hinders our chances of success.

Face it… defeat is a bitter pill.  There aren’t too many things that make us feel worse than facing failure. Failure often leaves us feeling bitter, miserable, and depressed.

It’s easy to see why most people are afraid of failing. We prefer to play it safe by remaining in our comfort zones and avoiding any risks. But playing it safe can also be detrimental. It takes us out of the game. When we choose to forgo potential opportunities and push ourselves into mediocrity, we restrict ourselves, preventing us from realizing our full potential.

Failure is a matter of perspective. We tend to think of failure as the opposite of success. But failures are actually the stepping-stones of success. Nothing worthwhile in life has ever been achieved without a series of failures.

We learn by trial and error.  Experience — the rewards and consequences of our actions — is the ultimate teacher, and our mistakes are a considerable part of that equation.

Successful people make mistakes… they fail.  But they don’t give up. Instead they stay the course. They overcome their fear of failure and are quick to learn from their mistakes.

There’s an endless list of examples of people who, despite facing defeat, did not give up on their dreams. They succeeded in overcoming their fear of failure.  Failure did not keep people like Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, and Abraham Lincoln from achieving their goals and becoming extraordinarily successful.

Overcoming our fear of failure is a necessary step toward the achievement of our goals. Successful people are not the most intelligent, most talented, or blessed.  They are just ordinary people who view failures as temporary setbacks on the road to success. They are successful because they have developed the ability and willingness to learn from their mistakes, move out of their comfort zones, and take calculated risks.

Don’t allow fear of failure to prevent you from working toward your goals. The “secret” to success is not avoiding failure, it’s having the persistence and perseverance to overcome failure, learn from your failures, and use that learning to improve yourself.

“Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it.” – Mia Hamm

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

You Have to Do the Hard Things

12 Jun

I found this gem, posted by a friend on Facebook.  It’s a blog post that was shared by an organization with a commitment to continual self-improvement.  The original author is Dan Waldschmidt.

19 Hard Things You Need To Do To Be Successful

You have to do the hard things.

  • You have to make the call you’re afraid to make.
  • You have to get up earlier than you want to get up.
  • You have to give more than you get in return right away.
  • You have to care more about others than they care about you.
  • You have to fight when you are already injured, bloody, and sore.
  • You have to feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter.
  • You have to lead when no one else is following you yet.
  • You have to invest in yourself even though no one else is.
  • You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have.
  • You have to grind out the details when it’s easier to shrug them off.
  • You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.
  • You have to search for your own explanations even when you’re told to accept the “facts.”
  • You have to make mistakes and look like an idiot.
  • You have to try and fail and try again.
  • You have to run faster even though you’re out of breath.
  • You have to be kind to people who have been cruel to you.
  • You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that are unparalleled.
  • You have to be accountable for your actions even when things go wrong.
  • You have to keep moving towards where you want to be no matter what’s in front of you.

You have to do the hard things. The things that no one else is doing. The things that scare you. The things that make you wonder how much longer you can hold on.

Those are the things that define you. Those are the things that make the difference between living a life of mediocrity or outrageous success.

The hard things are the easiest things to avoid. To excuse away. To pretend like they don’t apply to you.

The simple truth about how ordinary people accomplish outrageous feats of success is that they do the hard things that smarter, wealthier, more qualified people don’t have the courage — or desperation — to do.

Do the hard things. You might be surprised at how amazing you really are.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Don’t Be Afraid to Start Over

26 Oct

New-Chapter[1]“Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett

At some point in all of our lives, we will have to face the prospect of starting over again.

Perhaps it will be a homework assignment or household project.

Maybe it will be something of greater magnitude, like a new job or relationship.

New beginnings can be daunting but, typically, the biggest barrier to moving forward is you.  Our own fears are our worst enemies.

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” – C. JoyBell C.

You’ve got to believe in yourself, look beyond your doubts, and draw on positive past experience.

It’s also important to surround yourself with — and listen to advice from — encouraging, positive-thinking people.

Try again, and keep trying, until you achieve your goal.

Keep growing, keep reaching, keep believing.

What looks like an end never is unless you decide to make it the end.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Don’t Quit — Timing is Everything

5 Oct

“Perfect” Timing?

Has the timing of your plans been delayed?

Are you discouraged because you’re not achieving your goals and objectives as soon as you expected?

Dealing with delays — waiting for the moment — is one of the most challenging problems you’ll encounter, but don’t quit.

Don’t walk away.  Don’t throw in the towel.  Hang in there.

Never, never, never give up.” – Winston Churchill

If you quit, you’ll be giving up on the foundation you’ve built and all the progress you’ve made.

Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be.” – Rick Warren

Just because you haven’t accomplished your goal yet doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t.

Stay the course, keep working hard, remain focused on your goal, and be patient.

After all, in any given situation, there’s rarely such a thing as perfect timing.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

S-U-C-C-E-S-S

26 Aug

20c14e2[1]In his book, Hours of Power, Robert Schuller contends that anyone who truly wants to succeed can do so, because success takes many forms.

Success may involve recovering or rebuilding.  It may be starting a new endeavor or pursuing a new career.

Whatever it is, you can succeed.  Believe in you and believe in success.  Believe that you can and will succeed.

Here are Schuller’s steps to success:

  • S — Select your goal
  • U — Unlock positive thinking
  • C — Chart your course
  • C — Commit yourself
  • E — Expect problems and difficulties
  • S — Sacrifice yourself (success always involves sacrifice)
  • S — Stick with it (you never fail until you say, “I quit.”)

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Maybe EVERYTHING is an Opportunity

10 Aug

Man on top of mountain.Everyone has hardships.  Everyone has problems.  Everyone has weaknesses.  They may be relative, but we’ve all got them.

But, maybe, we’re looking at it all wrong.  Perhaps our perspective needs adjusted.

Maybe our problems are actually possibilities — cleverly disguised opportunities.

Maybe weakness is nothing more than an opportunity to build and develop strength.

Maybe fear is the catalyst that leads to courage.

Maybe ignorance is just a chance to increase and improve awareness.

Maybe ineptitude is the “wake-up call” we need to cultivate and improve our skills.

Maybe failure is a necessary and inevitable step on the path to self-improvement and, eventually, success.

Maybe our own sadness can help us be more compassionate to others.

Maybe criticism and disagreement are opportunities for dialog.

Maybe challenges are meant to help us demonstrate persistence and perseverance.

Maybe difficulty is an opportunity to build character and confidence.

What if we focused less on our problems and more on our opportunities?

Maybe everything is an opportunity.  Think about it.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Skill is Good, Will is Better

17 Jul

isAbility is awesome.  Skill is splendid.  Talent is terrific.

But without the will to succeed — the will to win — talent, alone, will only take you so far.

The world is littered with talented (but complacent) people who have never realized their potential because they lack something else.

That “something else” is a long list of intangible qualities that successful people have, that includes (but is not limited to):

  • Ambition
  • Dedication
  • Desire
  • Determination
  • Energy
  • Enthusiasm
  • Hustle
  • Passion
  • Perseverance
  • Persistence
  • Work ethic

The will to succeed can compensate for shortcomings in talent and skill; but talent and skill won’t overcome a lack of ambition and desire.

I’ll take the person with less talent, who wants to — and works to — maximize his or her own potential, over the talented but complacent, unmotivated individual, any and every day.

What are you going to do to be your best today?

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

There Are No Secrets to Success

18 May

top-success-quotes_12020-5[1]Don’t look for secrets when studying the best. Look at the basics. Look at what they do every day. Success often lies there.” – Buzz Williams

What we often see, when observing excellence in athletic performance (or any other endeavor), is just the result — the “tip of the iceberg.”  What we don’t see are the days, months, and years of hard work, dedication, commitment, and sacrifice that contributed to the success.

Success is the result of consistency.  It lies in the mundane, not the magical.

Success requires getting the basics right.  It’s foundation is sound and solid.

Success is built on not only action, but attitude.  It is fed by passion, enthusiasm, and desire.

The path to success is not devoid of obstacles; but the realization that each setback is a learning opportunity that brings us one step closer to success.

Success is planning your work, and working you plan, every day.

There are no secrets.  Be your best and strive to improve you, TODAY.  Then do it again tomorrow.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

When the Going Gets Tough…

2 Feb

the_fox_and_the_grapes_by_alexmax-d4ys8zz[1]You’re going to encounter some adversity.  You’re going to experience some hardship.  Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow, but it’s inevitable.

Recently, I’ve had some challenging (and enlightening) discussions with a few student-athletes that reminded me of Aesop’s “The Fox and the Grapes” fable:

     One afternoon a fox was walking through the forest and spotted a bunch of grapes hanging from over a lofty branch.

     “Just the thing to quench my thirst,” quoth he.

     Taking a few steps back, the fox jumped and just missed the hanging grapes. Again the fox took a few paces back and tried to reach them but still failed.

     Finally, giving up, the fox turned up his nose and said, “They’re probably sour anyway,” and proceeded to walk away.

The moral of the story: It’s easy to despise what you cannot have.

When faced with adversity in their sport of choice, there are some kids (and, perhaps, parents) who apparently feel that it’s better/easier to give up than continue working to improve.  I hear comments used to justify quitting, like, “There are more important things in life than sports,” and “It’s not like I’m going to be a professional athlete.”

Of course there are more important things in life than sports — and very few of us will become professional athletes, but that doesn’t mean sports aren’t important.  Using that argument, you can rationalize any shortcoming.

You can make a case that there are also more important things in life than school — studying, doing homework, getting good grades, ACT scores, etc.

I suppose there’s also more to life than working — learning a craft, managing some aspect of a business, earning money, etc.

At any given time, you can add just about anything to to the “there’s more to life” list: faith, friends, family, and any other obligation/responsibility — or choice — you care to name.

I find it ironic that you rarely hear these types of comments from people who are committed to succeeding.  Certainly, they also know that whatever they’re doing is not necessarily the defining aspect of their lives.

What these folks have learned is that success is not only about the end result.  True success is also about the process.  It’s about learning and practicing and working through adversity.

What do you do when the going gets tough? Do you rationalize failure or do you strengthen your resolve and work harder?

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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