How to Cultivate Authentic Grit

Hey! Have you noticed that some people are super passionate and work really hard to achieve unbelievable goals. They never give up and they see every challenge as a stepping stone to their success. It seems like these people have some kind of tirelessness to them. They just go!

So, they’ve got something Angela Lee Duckworth calls “grit”. (check out her TED talk here:

So, today I will explain how we as we today find ourselves, can begin a journey of cultivating more grit in our lives.

This is how Caroline Miller, an executive coach who has a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) from the University of Pennsylvania, explains “authentic grit”:

—>“the passionate pursuit of hard goals that awes and inspires others to become better people, flourish emotionally, take positive risks, and live their best lives.

There you go. That’s grit. Got it?… Don’t worry, we can cultivate it! Here’s how:

#1. It all Starts With A Dream

“People who come to me for help have a dream to go beyond their normal boundaries to do something that is significant and fulfilling, something they will regret not pursuing if they never make the attempt.”
– Caroline Adams Miller

Grit starts with the belief that there must be more to life that what you’re currently experiencing; emotionally, mentally and physically. That there is something you must pursue – something, if ignored, would be a great source of regret.

What is this for you?

What is a goal that you will not let pass by to become a source of regret and dissatisfaction?

Focus on it every morning and take a few steps daily.

#2. “IF X – THEN Y” – Implementation Intentions

“Agreeing to an ‘if-then’ contract with yourself also triples your chances of accomplishing tough goals.”
– Caroline Adams Miller

Pursuing goals, in practicality, means dealing with temptations of all sorts. We want to have something in the future, but there is a price to pay. Oftentimes that’s some kind of discomfort that we have to push through in order to get the growth & development towards the goal.

#3. The power “yet”

“Dweck has gone one step further in her research and discovered that the use of a simple word ‘yet’ can create greater persistence when facing challenges. If you tell a child that they ‘didn’t answer the math questions correctly *yet*,’ that one word opens their minds to the idea that they can eventually solve the problems. She found that not only did the children become grittier, they also became more zestful, creative and hopeful when ‘yet’ opened up their eyes to the possibility of a different, limitless future. If ‘yet’ can change mind-set, imagine how many other words and phrases can unlock resilience and stickto-itiveness!”
– Caroline Adams Miller

“Not yet”. When you talk with other people about your goals and your development. Don’t talk in fixed terms without adding the little word “yet”.

Listen to the differences: “I not good enough…” or “Im not good enough… yet.”

There is change of growth and change. Don’t rob yourself of your growth.

#4. Happiness = success 

See Seligmans model: PERMA.
Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Achievement.

Don’t think that success will bring happiness. It’s very often the other way around.
Find ways and reasons to be happy now, and success will follow you as a shadow.

Some ways to cultivate happiness, that they mention in the book:
a) Meditation
b) Exercise
c) Being coached by someone you look up to
d) Help someone
e) Keep a daily gratitude journal
f) Write about your goals that excites you + plan

Some quotes to ponder on:

“I believe we can begin to imagine and create a world that makes us proud and that uplifts us to be bolder, more tenacious, and more inspirational. When we learn how to set the right goals and see them through to the finish line, become comfortable with discomfort, and use setbacks as springboards, we can live with passion, purpose, and perseverance. It will be the reality that more of us live and share with others so that we can all become better versions of ourselves.”
– Caroline Adams Miller from Getting Grit

“My experience taught me that grit is definitely not a quality reserved for the select few; it is available to anyone who wants something so badly that they won’t let anyone stop them until they’ve gone as far as they can, often achieving or coming close to that which they sought.”
– Caroline Adams Miller

“The human individual lives usually far within his limits; he possesses powers of various sorts which he habitually fails to use. He energizes below his maximum, and he behaves below his optimum . . . the habit of inferiority to our full self— that is bad.”
– William James

“To be gritty is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To be gritty is to hold fast to an interesting and purposeful goal. To be gritty is to invest, day after week after year, in challenging practice. To be gritty is to fall down seven times, and rise eight.”
– Angela Lee Duckworth

“The ability to ‘focus’ and do ‘deep work’ has been described as ‘the IQ of the 21st century by Cal Newport, author of Deep Work, who says adults who can focus will be the most prized individuals in coming years.”
– Caroline Adams Miller

“In one of the most profound, slam-dunk findings I’ve ever read, these three researchers had parsed and reviewed hundreds of studies on success in life to discover the exact opposite of what I and many others had mistakenly believed was true: we don’t become happy after we succeed at something, but rather we succeed at something because we are happy first.”
– Caroline Adams Miller

“(to cultivate joy + hope) Use your strengths often, practice gratitude, journal, embrace your spirituality, get coached, boost your hope, exerce (!), practice altruism, and meditatate.”
– Brian Johnson

“I hated every minute of training but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’ ”
– Mohamed Ali


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