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Here’s my score:
Yeah, OK. Surviving my childhood required a certain level of grit as did getting on with things from there. But so what?
While we all want the same things (love, peace, acceptance) we are a wildly diverse bunch, humans. We do not possess the same experience, beliefs, reactions, gifts or skills. Which is brilliant, don’t you think? We cannot all be President, nor shall we all be Olympians or engineers or artists. Grit might be an indication of one’s ability to survive or to succeed at a difficult mission, but let me suggest that it isn’t the best measure of humans. We might not all be able to muster true grit, but I think we can all choose to be kind. Therefore, kindness, I think, is a far better measure of a human than is grit.
Any grit I grew came from tough things in my life, not the easy things. So perhaps you are fortunate to not have some challenging issues that caused you to develop grit. I'm sure I had some determination grit along the way too, but I can't think of a time determination wasn't tough too.
Have you ever met anyone who did not have some regrets? It might help to dwell on what is your purpose in life. I'm finding more purpose dropping in my lap as I get older and it has been just as much or far much more rewarding than accomplishments from the past. Also, I prefer to look at quitting as nothing more than a path to how we do choose to live our lives. As the old addage, it's better to have tried and failed than to not try at all. Quitting doesn't need to be a negative event.
Perhaps just deciding to spend a day differently than you normally choose to do would ignite something within and give you some new adventures and goals.
@pb40374959 - And I'm always amazed when I bump into people who manage to get into their 60s, without developing any "grit". They remind me of that classic quote from Tennessee Williams' play "A Streetcar Named Desire," in which "fragile" Blanche DuBois says, "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."
Registered on Online Community since 2007!
I think anyone that has lived has developed some type of grit. Most people would not have survived without it. Life is messy and certainly not the rose color that we read about, see on T.V or in the movies. Most people had to overcome an obstacle, climbed some wall and at times lose. I have tons of regrets about my life but they are offset very nicely by what I have achieved and acccomplished. Very few people have lived heir life exactly the way they hoped to. Everyone of us at some time has had to make concessions, compromise and/or make do.Was life perfect, nope, never was never going to be, but grit,determination, courage whatevere you want to call it, makes it possible to go on.
I have read that most people reach the end of their lives with regrets, not about things that they did, but about things that they didn't do. I have those also. Life is incredibly complex and for those of us who are intelligent and aware, there are so many things that we wish we could have done that would fill many lifetimes. My biggest regret is that I didn't become a doctor. I wanted to when I was 12, but my parents were horrified (I am now 70) and got one of my much older cousins (male doctor) to talk me out of it and tell me what a lousy profession it was. During my life, I have worked with doctors (in an administrative capacity) and I kept realizing over and over what a perfect profession it would have been for me. But during my intense therapy (I was in therapy for about 8 years from when I was 50 to 58), I realized that although I certainly had the intelligence to become a doctor, my parents had so emotionally abused me, that I probably wouldn't have made it through med school, as it takes a lot of self-confidence which I didn't have until after therapy. I also regret that I didn't travel more internationally while I was young and that I never had a dog when my daughter was young (now that I am retired, I don't think I want the responsibility)
But, during my life, I have weathered a lot of storms. The early emotional abuse is one. Also, I had infertility during my marriage and also miscarriages, and finally we did a private and open adoption, which I orchestrated (when open adoptions were NOT the norm). Our daughter is now 31. I also had to deal with the fact that after 35 years of marriage, my husband finally realized that he was gay (and so I finally began to understand why my sex life had been so bad, although I love sex). I was able to get through this horrible devastation (with therapy) and preserve our loving friendship while at the same time letting go of my love for him. I did this for me and also for our daughter. After this devastation, I pursued sexual relationships with straight men and found my mojo (I believe this took a lot of courage on my part, after having been rejected all those years by someone who was supposed to love me).
All in all, I think I have some "grit". The regrets I have are about things I didn't do and not about anything I did do. We all make choices during our lives and there is no way, with our limited lifetimes, that we can do everything we might want to do.
I appreciate the thought and the insight, gator. Yes, I guess I did have to have a little grit to get through 66 years relatively sane. But when I compare myself to the people this author profiles, or to the author herself, or for that matter to the ambitions I once had, I realize that really I've basically accomplished nothing, basically have not even lived. I keep thinking of that stanza in Dylan Thomas's poem:
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Yes, there are still things I want to do, but whatever little I might be able to accomplish, it will never be what it could have been.
Absolutely agree, anyone is allowed to quit sometimes. And agreed that that psychiatrist probably should have!
Gaius Julius Ceasar
No, not the magazine. (A reference that the whippersnappers probably wouldn't get.) The grit that Angela Duckworth studies and writes about in her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.
What do you think? Is "grit" as important as Angela Duckworth thinks it is (and as I think it is, for the record)? Can it be developed, and is it even worth developing, in late codgerhood? Is there any way of making up for so much lost time and opportunity?
@rastewart "Grit" is as important as you want/allow it to be, in your life & circumstances. Any of us who make it into our 60's (I'm 68) know something about grit. May not be as tough/solid a grit as Duckworth is advocating, but you should go with what works for you. If you want to devote time & effort, at this time in your life, to developing further/stronger grit, by all means do so.