I recently finished reading the book “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” written by psychologist Angela Duckworth (See her TED Talk). In the book Angela delves into the concept of grit and ways to be a gritty person. As I’ve been reflecting on the read, I realized just how many aspects of my life are touched by my ability to be gritty and choose to persevere over giving in and giving up.

Recently I have been faced with a potential job change. I have been offered a job working in experiential education which is something I am extremely passionate about. The downside is dollar signs $$. I would be practically cutting my pay scale in half. When reflecting on grit and the ways that it influences this decision, I realized that it really is a matter of grittiness. If I stick to the things I value and love (experiential education & challenging individuals to grow and change) I will have to give up comfort and security. This means I will have to improve and work to build my grit in order to persevere through that discomfort and fear.

“To be gritty is to resist complacency.”

If that line doesn’t hit home, I don’t know what does. As I ponder my lush desk job with its mildly comfortable paycheck, I realize that I don’t do much growing here. My job does not push me to be better, it doesn’t inspire or light my passions. Some of that is my own doing, but some of it is simply the position. Resisting complacency means putting myself in a state of fear and discomfort. I think that is the only way we grow.

Grit takes courage

Love Takes courage

Kindness takes courage

Integrity takes courage

Truth takes courage

Empathy takes courage

Compassion takes courage

Courage requires fear

If these are virtues I strive to live with, I suppose my decision is made. I must live with some fear in order to grow my courage, and ultimately grow in the virtues I value. There is no growth without discomfort.