Proponents, supporters, and marketers within the New Thought Movement believe that the foundation of success is tied to one’s ability to “think positive.” It’s the belief that we are all operating under something known as “The Law Of Attraction,” where our thoughts contain energy forces and through quantum physics, whatever thought we put out into the environment, the energy within that thought will match a similar energy force and “attract” people, circumstances, and resources in life to you based on said “attraction.” As a result:
- If you think about being in great health, having a loving spouse, having a loving family, and making six to seven figures a year, then the universe will attract these things to you.
- If you think about setbacks, failures, etc., then the universe will attract these things to you.
These concepts are preached in the vast majority of mega churches in the country, through various sales training programs, personal finance books and other self-development related seminars, webinars and presentations. But in my opinion, The Law Of Attraction is hogwash and does not at all reflect the true reality of what it takes for someone to be successful in business today.
It’s of my experience, opinion, and research that “grit” plays a much more important role in your outcomes than that of positive thinking/faith and for this article, I will discuss the particulars of “grit.”
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The Power Of Passion and Perseverance
University of Pennsylvania’s Angela Duckworth, is an academic, psychologist, motivational speaker, and also the author of the NY Times best seller “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.” According to Duckworth, “grit” is all about having passion and perseverance for long-term goals.
Grit isn’t considered luck, talent, positive thinking, positive faith, the law of attraction, nor how bad someone wants a particular thing for the moment, but instead (according to Duckworth) it’s all about having a deep goal that gives meaning to nearly everything a person does. Based on said meaning, the person would hold strongly onto their objectives, despite challenges, setbacks, failures, etc.
The Characteristics of Grit
While Duckworth’s research on grit continues, the following characteristics below made up the foundation of someone with grit based on Duckworth’s research and others who are actively looking into the concept.
- Long Term Goals: This is where the deep meaning, value, morals, and purpose comes into play, which plays one of (if not the most significant) foundation of grit.
- Resilience: Resilience is all about having the internal fire to quickly recover and bounce back from failures or setbacks.
- Courage: This is all about your ability to handle and manage fear to the point where you might “feel fear,” but you never allow it to “cripple” your walk. Courage is not about the absence of fear, it’s in despite of fear, I will continue to progress.
- Conscientiousness: One of the Big Five Personality Traits that researchers have been examining for decades, this is in relation to having high levels of organization skills and paying close attention to details.
- Strive For Excellence: This is based on not striving to be perfect, but striving to continue to develop, improve, and keep running the journey of life to the fulfillment of purpose.
At the end of the day, grit is all about having an objective, purpose, or value in life, and fighting for it until the end. In my opinion, the vast majority of small business owners who start a business and grow it to high profitable levels display high amounts of grit. This intensity and fire keeps you battling:
- At your office or restaurant 12 hours a day
- The frivolous lawsuit until the end
- Potential regulation that could potentially cripple your industry
- Unscrupulous vendors/suppliers
- Market downturns
- Large corporate entities that try to push you out of your local market
- To gain market share
- To bring your product to market
- To raise capital
- To keep and raise a family while maintaining your business
- To finish that degree or side project while maintaining your business
It’s about continuing to fight, it’s not about positive thinking or feel-good emotions. It was grit that kept you fighting yesterday and it will be grit that will keep you fighting tomorrow.
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