Recently I started reading a book on grit and why it’s essential, often more so than even intelligence, in attaining success. Grit is something that is undervalued and downplayed so often for so many people, including myself but is beyond valuable as a longterm skill. Grit is the reason we succeed (for the most part) or don’t. Grit is practicality and determination and it’s grit that gets us to the end, not motivation.
Reverse engineering has become something I’m obsessed with. Looking at other people’s successes or even failures and starting from the end and working back. How did they get there, what did they do, what do I like about it, what do I dislike about it. I think we’re always looking at things from start to finish and although nothing is ever truly finished sometimes it’s easier more insightful to look in reverse.
I think one of best things I’ve learned is that rejection is a great foundation for change. Whether it’s a job or a person, being told no for whatever reason can either light a spark and kick you into a state of change or it can cripple you. Something I am continually teaching myself is to seek out rejection. Apply for the job that you want even if you’re not fully qualified, ask a CEO or idol for advice or that random guy/girl you like out on a date. Look for ways to be told no-it makes you stronger than you think. Rejection can even be more abstract such as not being as successful or “popular” as you hoped but working harder none the less. We are constantly looking for yes’s, acceptance and to avoid being told no. I think this lack of tolerance for failure is what brings so many people down and I myself have struggled and fallen victim to this mentally as well. The no’s are what should fuel you just as much as the yes’s.
I think one of the hardest parts about changing our behavior is being able to stop ourselves from whatever thought pattern or behavior we are engaging in while we are in the middle of it. Taking a deep breath and saying I don’t want to continue this, or why am I feeling this way, what am I doing and how do I shift gears is really the heart of the matter and the most challenging aspect of transforming the mind. I think there is this hope or idea that we do this once and that’s it, we’re done the problem is solved, we’ve put in the effort and shouldn’t have to deal with the feelings or thoughts anymore. The continual grind of checking in, slowing down and noticing our mental roadblocks is exhausting! And it’s never not going to be exhausting. Determination over motivation and learning the dedication and muscle (yes our mind is like a muslce) strength that it takes to change our thoughts is the only way to succeed.
I think we now live in a time where we are really comfortable with complacency and depression. There is this feeling that we are part of a group if we are self-deprecating and consistently unappreciative of ourselves and our lives. This masking of unhappiness as jokes and sarcasm does far more deep-rooted damage than most of us are willing to be aware of. Instead of speaking our best and therefore being our best we want to not rise above the pack and the culture and or take control of our lives and our thoughts. This is what I believe is a fundamental issue with modern mental health and addressing depression and other disorders. Change not only how you think but what you say and you will change yourself and encourage others to better themselves as well.