“When he was seven years old, his family was forced out of their home and off their farm. Like other boys his age, he was expected to work to help support the family.
When he was nine, his mother died.
At the age of 22, the company he worked for went bankrupt and he lost his job.
At 23, he ran for state legislature in a field of 13 candidates. He came in eighth.
At 24, he borrowed money to start a business with a friend. By the end of the year, the business failed. The local sheriff seized his possessions to pay off his debt. His partner soon died, penniless, and he assumed his partner’s share of debt as well. He spent the next several years of his life paying it off.
At 25, he ran for state legislature again. This time he won.
At 26, he was engaged to be married. But his fiancée died before the wedding. The next year he plunged into a depression and suffered a nervous breakdown.
At 29, he sought to become the speaker of the state legislature. He was defeated.
At 34, he campaigned for a U.S. congressional seat, representing his district. He lost.
At 35, he ran for Congress again. This time he won. He went to Washington and did a good job.
At 39, when his term ended, he was out of a job again. There was a one-term-limit rule in his party.
At 40, he tried to get a job as commissioner of the General Land Office. He was rejected.
At 45, he campaigned for the U.S. Senate, representing his state. He lost by six electoral votes.
At 47, he was one of the contenders for the vice-presidential nomination at his party’s national convention. He lost.
At 49, he ran for the same U.S. Senate seat a second time. And for the second time, he lost.
Two years later, at the age of 51, after a lifetime of failure, disappointment, and loss (and still relatively unknown outside of his home state of Illinois), Abraham Lincoln was elected the sixteenth president of the United States.”
We live in a microwave society – we want POWERFUL results and we want them QUICKLY. It is easier to start something new when something else did not work out. Our society is also bombarded by the importance of results and forward movement. The moment you “stand still”, not to mention going backwards, you failed.
But when you study “expert performers” or “successful” people, you will find one thing they have all in common called. No it is not a high IQ, great strategies or enough money in the bank. No, it is GRIT. Yes, grit. If you want to become successful, it is time to get gritty. But what is grit?
As Angela Lee Duckworth put it (see video below) – “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future day in and day out. Not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living live as a marathon, not a sprint”.
So, what can you do to show more grit?
The most important point is around a belief.
Failure is not a permanent condition.