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Grit is Great

Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work. - Booker T. Washington

Grit: noun \ˈgrit\

Courage and resolve; strength of character.

Synonyms: courage, bravery, strength of character, strength of will, moral fiber, toughness, resolution, determination, tenacity, perseverance, endurance.

Grit is defined as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” Grit in psychology is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual's passion for a particular long-term goal or endstate, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective.

This perseverance of effort promotes the overcoming of obstacles or challenges that lie within a gritty individual’s path to accomplishment, and serves as a driving force in achievement realization. Commonly associated concepts within the field of psychology include "perseverance", "hardiness", "resilience", "ambition", "need for achievement" and "conscientiousness". -Wikipedia

Ain’t nothin’ like hard work. (If you are working on something you are passionate about and love doing!) Don’t be afraid of it! Embrace it, cultivate it.

Of course, we should all strive to keep a balanced life. Keeping time for all important things: family, health, work, and leisure, is a good habit to develop. But when the time to work comes, we should not be afraid to go all in. Social media guru and über-successful entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk talks about the importance of “hustling” (“Hustling is putting every minute and all your effort into achieving the goal at hand.”) and, although I do not condone some of the language he uses in his colorful Ask Gary V Show, I do agree with him that, when it comes down to it, nothing beats hard work.

But please do not get me wrong. I am not talking of mindless hard work, which is a huge waste of your time, energy, and resources. As Gary V would put it, “don’t waste your time on dumb [stuff]!” I am talking about a well-coordinated effort toward a well-established goal, following a thoroughly thought-out strategy.

So, work hard. Work hard and have grit!

Grit is a hot topic these days. Study after study seems to prove that hard work and grit trump talent time and time again. Grit superstar expert Angela Duckworth delivered a TED talk on the subject which has attracted millions of viewers.

With her team of experts, Duckworth has established five characteristics of grit which have a significant impact on individual success:

1. Courage: your ability to face your fear of failure

2. Conscientiousness: your ability to work tirelessly towards a goal

3. Endurance: your ability to work towards a long term goal with perseverance

4. Resilience: how your optimism, confidence, and creativity keeps you going

5. Excellence vs perfection: your ability to let go of perfection to strive for excellence

By combining those five characteristics in your own version of grit, and by making your goals crystal clear, you are giving yourself an excellent shot at success, whatever success means to you. Have your vision, make your plan, find ways to remain motivated throughout the journey, be demanding of yourself, stay tough when the going gets tough, have courage and resilience, and be willing to make sacrifices.

Have grit, and go get it!

In the studio today: "Don’t let left hand factors (choice of fingerings, shifts, etc.) affect the bow (i.e. musical shape of the phrase)" “Set your intention strongly, hear it in your head first, and then play it with as much musicianship (intonation, beautiful sound, smooth bow harm, etc…) as you can.” “Keep “Hurdle race training” in mind.”

(Next time: Je me souviens)


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