Determination and grit are important to success in life.

Defining yourself rather than allowing others to do soIn Admiral William McRaven’s book, “Make Your Bed”, his third lesson in life is that only the size of your heart matters.  According to Admiral McRaven, your size, color of your skin, monetary status  didn’t matter.  To him, what matters is that determination and grit of most importance to life’s success.

Remember that your past does not define who you are. There are a countless number of influences throughout your life, both positive and negative. It is easy to understand how life’s adversities can negatively impact you.  However, one may ask, “Why do some people do extremely well in spite of great adversities and some who suffer very little in life merely exist rather than live?”  There is never one simple cause and effect.  Rather there are many faceted influences that affect success or failure in life.

However, defining yourself as better than you have thought yourself to be sometimes require you to dig deep within yourself to have the determination and grit necessary to achieve that goal. This is a critical lesson to learn. Unfortunately many people want to merely feel better rather than be better in life.  Feeling better is fleeting.  Being better is a lifelong endeavor.

Failing to achieve this goal can be discouraging and bring you down. Don’t view “failure as a reinforcement of a negative view you may have of yourself. View “failure”, no matter how many times you encounter it, as a learning experience that will help in your adjusted your behavior toward achieving success.  This needs to be done with determination and grit in spite of everything inside you telling you to give up and that you will never achieve your goal.

Remember the story of Colonel Sanders from Kentucky Fried Chicken fame. Before he became famous, he had a chicken stand that was torn down and replaced by an interstate highway. He was 65  years old at the time and all he had for income was his social security check. He also had a secret family chicken recipe, along with determination and grit.  He approached  restaurants, encouraging them to include his recipe on their menus. He got turned down by over 90 restaurants before he got one to use his recipe. The rest is history.  How many restaurants would you approach, get rejected and finally give up? Think about what determination and grit can do for you.

Questions, comments, suggestions can be directed to Ray Shocki PhD, LCSW, LMFT at lifesourcecenter .org