Two Gs

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Want to succeed in business and life?  Here is a simple solution, and it is not “have the winning Megamillions ticket.”  While that is certainly an alternative method, the odds are not in your favor nor is it a replicable process.

You need two things and that’s it.

Gratitude, and Grit.

It might seem overly simplified.  Like the solution to winning a fight is “don’t get hit, and hit them.”  Simple but not easy.  It could take you a lifetime to truly master these two G’s, yet the path of doing so leads to enlightenment, happiness, and wealth.

Let’s explore Grit as it is modeled all around us and easily grasped if not mastered.

Grit is stick-to-it-ness.  It is resilience.  It is getting back up every time you are knocked down, and putting yourself in position to be knocked down over and over and over.  A new sales representative knows they have to make fifty calls every single morning, and a dozen of those are going to result in someone being rude or hanging up on them.  Grit is still doing the fifty dials, knowing that they are going to get verbally slapped, because five or so people will say yes to having a real conversation.  The pain is worth the pleasure.

Grit is finding a way to get the job done, even when you are beyond your limits and out of resources.  It is the startup company where the founders live in the office and take turns sleeping on the couch (remember, this is where Elon Musk’s career began) so that they need very little money to build their dream and can work 24/7.  This is JK Rowling working away with a baby on her lap to write Harry Potter.  This is Mariano Rivera (still the ONLY Unanimous Hall of Fame baseball player in history) using a milk carton for a glove growing up so he could play the game.  Grit is what it takes to get the job done no matter what, or as my firefighter friends say: find a way, or make a way.

Grit is getting up at o’dark thirty to get your miles in or the reps before the sun is up and the kids are awake.  It is bringing your study material with you and squeezing in five minutes wherever you can to get that extra hour of preparation in a day to pass the licensing exam.  Grit is pushing yourself to the point your friends think you are nuts, over and over and over.  And then again tomorrow.

Grit is getting gut punched and standing back up again.  And again.

People with grit will keep going when tired and when it seems hopeless.  All too often people give up in the darkest part of the night, right before the dawn and the coming of the light.

Grit is staying power, and that is one of the greatest powers because even if something is statistically nigh on impossible, with enough iterations you will have success.  It is the attitude that you will do whatever it takes, no matter how difficult or bizarre to have the success that you crave as much as oxygen, more than food or sleep. 

That is Grit.

Gratitude? defines it as “the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful”.

Gratitude is that warm fuzzy feeling in your belly when your kid hugs you, or your assistant brings you a coffee, or your crush sends you a cupcake with a special frosting design.  Gratitude is basking in the brightness of something or someone other than yourself, of appreciation for what you have or experience.  A beautiful sunset, a rainbow, the opportunity to work towards your dreams, the smell of breakfast cooking.  All these little moments that make your brain dump positive neurochemicals like dopamine and serotonin into your system, and the opportunities that lead to them like the hard hike to catch a spectacular view or struggling and solving a tough problem. 

Gratitude is the pause that refreshes, that moment of “ahhh” whether in a warm bath or taking the tie off at the end of the day and a kiss from that special someone.

There are hundreds of psychological studies validating that having and practicing gratitude will reduce your stress, increase creativity and overall health, and leads to superior decision making.  Essentially every religion on earth has something positive to say about gratitude as a key factor in life, and it is one of the universal and unifying concepts of our species.

Gratitude can appear spontaneously from an external event such as seeing a beautiful butterfly or a random text from a friend or unexpected good news.  More powerfully it can be internally generated, and becomes sustainable and replicable through focused effort of finding the silver linings in clouds or turning problems inside out and discovering opportunities.  Converting these previously negative problems into chances to show Grit and innovate a solution is a powerful methodology that leads to repeatable success.

Gratitude and Grit represent your spirit and your body, that when combined become unstoppable as shown by ultramarathoners, whether they are running on the road or building a successful business or somehow taking care of three hooligan boys without blowing their top.  The two G’s are the reason why love can blossom and survive the trials and rough patches of life, and gives you the best chance of success in the things that really matter.  Your attitude and effort are under your control, and developing Gratitude and Grit is the greatest way to be wealthy by all measures.

1 Comment
  1. Tracy Miller says

    You write nice articles, Joe. Thank you very much!!

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