What would your life look like if it were healthier, happier and more purposeful? Do you ever dream of a better life that’s richer and fuller and gives you a greater sense of meaning? It’s possible to get the life you want… with GRIT.
Have you ever thought, would it be a whole lot easier, just to let life happen? Look around, and you’ll find no shortage of people who have opted for that way of life. When you think about it long and hard, isn’t that settling for lightweight living?
We can be dreamers, drifters or doers. The choice is ours to make. If we only ever daydream, or just drift through life, can we really expect to be flourishing? Can a farmer expect to harvest a crop, without tilling the soil, planting seed, and nurturing the planting through to maturity? Of course not.
Growing and achieving is in your DNA. You were born to bloom. You are engineered to be propelled along with real purpose. However… “nothing happens unless you make it happen”. Think about it this way…. You could go and buy a brand new car today, straight off a dealer’s showroom floor, but unless you put the key in and turn it, or push a ‘start’ button, you won’t be moving off that showroom floor, anytime soon.
We all know that life can get prickly, painful and pressure-filled. When adversity strikes, some people shrink back and sink, or they shut-off, like a turtle that pulls it head back into its shell. That’s a restraining mindset. Beliefs and thoughts about ourselves and our world, that holds us back and holds us under.
Yet, on the other hand, there are other people who handle setbacks and disappointments very differently. They appear to harness inner resources, choose an optimistic mindset, and power-on and prevail in spite of problems. It’s like they’re fuelled by a secret elixir, that keeps them moving forward in life, always getting stronger and stronger. They get knocked down but don’t get knocked out. Like a boomerang, they can be flung into life’s craziest circumstances but always circle back ready to face the next challenge.
These are the ones that get pushed hard up against the ropes, only to bounce-back into the centre of the ring, ready to go another round. What is their magic-like ingredient, that causes them to catapult over life’s obstacles, and keep on top of their game?
What they’ve discovered and developed is largely the influence of the learnable trait and skill of GRIT.
So… to get the life you want, get GRIT. Here’s how, in four key steps…
Step #1: [G] = GOALS: Without goals we’re like a feather floating at the whim of the wind. Developing GRIT requires setting and resolutely pursuing long-term goals. These goals need to underpin your Life Purpose. That is, how you want to make your mark on the world and get meaning from your existence. It is important to make goals values-centred, aligning with your inner compass that points True North. It helps you to stay true to what you most cherish and what you stand for.
Follow the S.M.A.R.T.A.R. principle when goal-setting: Specific, not vague; Measurable, so you can assess progress; Attainable, but requiring a stretch of effort; Relevant, because you want goals to have a worthwhile and meaningful purpose; Time-dated, to maintain momentum to completion; Accountability, to stay on-track with integrity; a Reward, because accomplishments need to be celebrated reinforcing the value of getting things done.
Step #2: [R] = RESILIENCE: This is the skill of learning from the lessons of life, being adaptable in the face of change, the capacity to bounce-back and willingly press-on and grow, even when pressure mounts. It is choosing to look for the positives, finding reasons for optimism, by exploring alternatives and actively seeking out new opportunities.
Step #3 [I] = IMPETUS: This is your inner driving force. It’s what causes you to light up. A consuming passion, unceasingly propelling you forward. It is doing what you love to do. It is a powerful creative element that conjures confidence, and a knowing that you are ‘in your zone’.
Step #4 [T] = TENACITY: Having a latched-on, lock-jaw bulldog tenacity, is a crucial aspect of GRIT. It puts the guts into GRIT. It is the spirit of perseverance, to conquer and overcome, and to stay the course for the long-haul, until your arrow of determination hits the bulls-eye of its target.
Wouldn’t you agree that most people want more out of life? It is possible by discovering and harnessing the power of the trait and skill of GRIT. If you feel stuck, or life isn’t as enriching as you may want, and you’re wondering how to move forward, this FREE eBook Power Up Your Mental Wellbeing might be a helpful place to start.
ROHAN WATSON is a member of the Australian Counselling Association and a general member of the International Association of Applied Neuroscience. He holds graduate and post-graduate qualifications in Psychology, Counselling and Education from Monash University and USQ, including a Master of Counselling (Advanced Practice) degree awarded with Distinction.
As a Psychotherapist, Counsellor and Mental Health Researcher, Rohan is dedicated to helping unlock the potential in people to live happily and more purposefully. His Toowoomba Counselling & Coaching service helps people from all walks and seasons of life.
Rohan has facilitated and delivered mental health programs across rural and remote Australia. He provides professional psychotherapy services to employees at all levels nationally through EAP based services, is a highly sought-after Marriage Counsellor and Relationship Counselling specialist, and has a special interest in the online delivery of mental wellness programs. Rohan’s current research is focusing on early intervention mental wellbeing in the workplaces of Australian SMEs. Learn more.
PS. You might also enjoy watching this video: GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perserverance.
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