There’s nothing worse than wanting something and finding out you can’t get it yet. It’s so, so tempting to just give up. Maybe you tried out for a team but got the news that you wouldn’t make the squad this year, but the coach encouraged you to keep training. Maybe you auditioned for a leading part but got Tree #2. Or maybe you really wanted to get an A in the midterm but struggled to get a C+.
Grit is a mixture of your passion and your persistence. It’s a long commitment to learning a skill, accomplishing a goal, or gaining an attribute- no matter what it takes or how long it takes.
Hopefully, you’ve had the opportunity by now to earn some grit. Hopefully, you know what it’s like to dig deep and pursue something, even if it’s hard or takes a while. But even if you haven’t yet, don’t worry- there’s still time.
If you’ve been alive for more than a day then you know things don’t always go your way. If you’ve gone to school for a day, you know that’s true. Other people set your schedule. Other people tell you what to eat, what you can’t wear, what you shouldn’t say, what you need to do next. And, sometimes, there are things you want to happen in your life and the door gets closed.
In life, you’re going to face a lot of resistance, especially if you seek to pursue a life of big ambitions and goals. That resistance might be external- a barrier, a person, resources, or qualifications. Or, it might be internal- insecurity, fear, or doubt.
Toughening up doesn't mean you negate your feelings or keep pushing despite the resistance, it means you become someone who intentionally recalls the difficult challenges you've faced in the past, allowing those memories to give you courage and tenacity at the moment. It's a deliberate choice to be tough; anyone can get there.
For years we’ve been studying what a young person needs in order to transition into a healthy, thriving adulthood.
They're uncommon sense ideas, really.
Download this checklist and use it with your students (or kids).