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  • Writer's pictureshiv kumar

The SUCCESS Recipe

I was recently doing some research on success and the myriad of reasons why some people become successful and some don’t - what separates the successful people from the also-rans. As part of my research, I put out a question in various forums on what people thought was the main ingredient required in the “recipe for success”. The most repeated answer was “grit”.

The two main definitions of Grit, as a noun, in the Oxford dictionary are “small loose particles of stone and sand” and “courage and resolve-strength of character”. Now it’s fairly obvious that when people answered “grit” in reply to what contributes to success, they were referring to the second definition. I’ll come to that a little later but I wanted to look at the first definition and see if it had any connection to the second and I came up with my own theory that there is an interesting inverse connection!

The first definition refers to the abrasiveness of a product (like sandpaper). Grit, in this case, is the rating of the size of abrasive materials on the sandpaper. Higher the grit number, finer the abrasive, creating smoother surface finishes and lower the grit number, coarser the abrasive enabling quicker scraping off. Relating this to grit as a character trait, when we start a task generally it requires a greater effort at the start – to overcome inertia, break old habits, etc. So if we were to quantify grit as a number here, it would need to be a higher number – a reverse of the grit rating in abrasiveness. Sorry if this sounds like a crazy attempt to find a connection between two topics seemingly unrelated by anything other than their name. Crazy thoughts come to mind when I make a 4 am start on a blog post!!

Grit, as a character trait, is often referred to in sporting achievements. As a cricket fan, I have heard commentators and journalists refer to a “gritty innings” – a complimentary description of a performance against the odds or in the face of stiff competition. I like to think of GRIT as an acronym (as below) that encompasses a multitude of qualities needed for success.

G for Guts – To embark on a path towards your goal, it requires guts or courage. The courage of conviction that this is your path, regardless of what others around you might say.

R for Resilience – The ability to handle failures or come back from setbacks is the true test of one’s character and this resilience is a key ingredient on your path to success. As the adage goes “winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win”.

I for Intention – Having total clarity on the intention behind your chosen path is essential in your journey to success. The WHY of your goal is what propels the HOW. If your WHY is strong and clear enough, your HOW will start to appear through the initial haze.

T for Tenacity – My dog is a little 10-year-old Maltese, very docile and gentle. He’s one of the friendliest dogs you’ll ever meet. But when he gets his favorite bone treat, he turns into a different beast. He will not let go of that little bone in his mouth, come what may!! There is no better example of tenacity for me than my little soft toy of a Maltese turning into a snarling brute, bringing out the terrier in him in terms of feistiness! That strong will to not give up in the face of challenges, is often the quality that makes the difference between success and failure.

What do you think of my version of the GRIT acronym? Would love to read your comments.

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