There are times in our lives, maybe even throughout our daily routine when we come across metaphorical quicksand. We feel that we are stuck and maybe even worse than that we feel that we are sinking. Whether it is at work, in relationships or in our own minds, the grit we come across can either erode or fortify us. The option is always our own.
Sometimes life takes a pause when you are on a fast-forward mentality. It sucks. I’m a go-getter by nature, ready to move and mingle, but sometimes the process is slower than your own pace. You see the vision but the parts needed to move that along are moving in slow motion.
Then there are the actions you have to take, the work you need to do to get ahead. Millennials tend to envision themselves as the leader – they can see where they want to be and can be but not necessarily how to get there. Yes, it’s frustrating, but it’s necessary and you will be happy you worked through it.
I’ve seen how perseverance shapes you. It keeps you humble and patient. You might be stressed and anxious, but over time the fruits of your labor come to fruition. If you are willing to give yourself and others the time and work to create something great you begin to appreciate the process of growth. Through it all, you learn, whether it is through unforeseen mistakes or lucky chances. It’s like a med student who works endless hours so they can see how patients heal or get sicker. If we can manage the grit in our lives it can make us healthier, or make us sicker depending on how we let it manifest.
In my own journey, I’ve seen specks of light throughout the tunnel in moments of appreciation and recognition. Whether it was an alum expressing gratitude for the work we are doing, a teammate excited at the results of our work or even a simple prayer that starts a staff meeting that just reminds you – doing what you love will decide everything.
You may need to invest the time into a friendship that has been at a standstill, you may have to suck it up and work the extra hours and do the additional work.
I’m not patient, but I’ve learned that there are benefits in taking a deep breath and appreciating the wait. To me, patience builds trust and trusting the process, while almost unnatural, is the best we can do for ourselves. I’ve seen how my own career journey has been a bit unexpected and different than what I planned for myself. But it has been the best possible road I could’ve taken. Sometimes we get thrown off our course so that we can travel a much better one.
If you pull up a dictionary and look up the word grit you will find distinctly different definitions that verge on the message of this blog.
1. abrasive particles or granules, as of sand or other small, coarse impurities found in the air, food, water, etc.
2. firmness of character; indomitable spirit;
I think it takes the “impurities” to build the indomitable spirit. I’ve learned to appreciate the challenges in my life. They excite me. Perhaps it is because I love to find a solution or at least bridge gaps where I can. Maybe it is the test and reaffirmation they give me in reminding me to appreciate where I am, what I’m doing and who I am.
While much of the grit in my life is still playing itself out there have been many small instances where the grit is fortifying me and the work I’m doing. You may feel that you are bogged down and your spirit is eroding – but you may just find some distant day your spirit is stronger than it has been.