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Passion, Perseverance, and True Grit

passion, perseverance, and true grit -

A somewhat weary post about passion, perseverance, and true grit of the Pablo Picasso kind. Because inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.

In Imagine, Jonah Lehrer writes, “Transforming an idea … into something real is a long, difficult process. If you’re doing it right, it’s going to feel like work. Nothing good is ever easy because we see nothing at first glance. It’s only by really thinking about something that we’re able to move ourselves into perceptions we never knew we had the capacity for.”

Lehrer also says, “In recent years, psychologists have studied the relationship between persistence and creative achievement. The ability to stick with it—grit—is a key predictor of success. Grit allows you to take advantage of your potential. Even the smartest, most talented people still need to practice. … If you’re a novelist, grit allows you to finish that first novel, then keeps you working on [it] until it’s actually good.”

Lehrer, of course, has since been discredited. I nonetheless like what he (or someone) said above.

And in Human, All Too Human, Nietzsche wrote, All great artists and thinkers are great workers, indefatigable not only in inventing, but also in rejecting, sifting, transforming, ordering.” As Nietzsche noted, Beethoven often painstakingly experimented with 70 versions of a melody, constantly refining his ideas before settling on one.

Here’s what Dr. Angela Duckworth has to say about passion, perseverance, and true grit: “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day-in, day-out. Not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years. And working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

I’m tired of working. Tired of working on my novel, tired of my day job, tired of change, tired of fending for myself. Super tired. So I pulled the quotes above to help me during times when I get especially exhausted. I’d like to think I have grit. Actually, I’m pretty sure I do.

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