Grit is won daily. It isn’t won in an instance. It’s won daily in doing things that make you uncomfortable. Things that you may not want to do at all. Alexander could have had a heated bath. The Spartans could have adorned their youth in anything they wanted. They chose not only simplicity and frugality, but purposely chose things that would be seen by today’s standards, as torture.
Grit must be earned and won by living a life that is difficult. And this difficulty must be forced. This isn’t to say you live a life devoid of pleasure. We’ll cover pleasure a bit later, but it has a valid and important place in our lives. Nothing beats a bear at the end of a long, tough day of work in the sun. But it’s how life was before technology robbed us of the calluses that once covered men’s hands.
Soft hands make soft people.
Often, by simply looking at a man’s hands you can tell if he’s got grit. Or maybe his nose. Grit is something beyond toughness. We can all be tough, but grit means you’re tough even when the chips are stacked against you. In the wonderful film, True Grit, Mattie Ross goes out into the world alone, searching for a man who will help find the man who killed her father. She specifically seeks out a man with true grit, who just happens to be played by John Wayne.
Why not seek out someone with toughness or kindness, you know, someone that will help her out of the goodness of their heart?
Goodness doesn’t necessarily get the job done. It doesn’t do what must be done, no matter how hard it may be. Grit has a ruthlessness to it, and a man, in some ways, must be ruthless because he needs to make the best decisions, no matter how unpopular they are. (Read This: The Art of Living Tougher and Grittier)
Which is why most politicians lack grit. What was once a vote for the best leader, is now a popularity contest that holds the politician willingly at ransom should he or she make a move that isn’t popular, or at least perceived popular by the media and an often vocal minority.
Grit Exists More in the Country
You find gritty men more often in the country, the woods, the fields and the farms, than you do in the city. It’s because of what the city is versus what the country is.
Rejoice when you find yourself with your back against the wall, and don’t be a bitch about it!