People generally attribute success to intelligence. I think the general public thinks you must be very smart or very gifted to be successful, especially in the case of overwhelming success. I disagree. I think the #1 thing someone NEEDS to become successful in anything is GRIT. Grit is defined by Webster as, “mental toughness and courage” and “firmness of mind or spirit : unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger.” It means that when you set goals, you never let them go, and you never ever give up. When faced by adversity, someone with true grit knows with absolute certainty that it will pass, and in the end they’ll be victorious.
Some people believe grit is impossible to learn, and that it was something you are either born with or you aren’t. I KNOW I wasn’t born with any, and somehow over the years it became ingrained in my personality. I have utter unflappable never ending confidence in myself, and my ability to achieve my goals. How did this happen? I believed this happened because I practiced having grit. I pretended!
Whenever I felt worried or wanted to give up over the last 5 or so years, I told myself, “This is nothing. I have overcome more than this. I know I’ll be ok, and in the end I’ll pass this by.” I also pictured myself where I wanted to be. I focused on the things I wanted and not on the problems of the minute, hour, or day. Just like Arnold would picture in his mind how he imagined his body would one day look, I pictured how I would feel when I achieved my next goal. How my LIFE would look.
I remember distinctly one event in which I was still working at an old job, and this other employee called me on the phone to warn me that I was in trouble. He told me, “Aaron, my good friend, if you don’t do what I’m telling you, you’ll lose your job here and you won’t be able to pay the bills or put food on the table for your family.” I remember telling him with supreme confidence and a whole lot of grit, “I’ll be just fine no matter what. I will never have problems providing for my family, and although I’d hate to lose my job, I’ll be successful no matter what.” This gentleman laughed and told me he couldn’t allow me to get another job doing what I was currently doing, and I felt nothing but challenged. I felt excited by the prospect of kicking ass, and starting something bigger and better. Worry and insecurity never passed through my mind. That’s when I knew I’d never needed to practice having grit again.
My suggestion to all of your reading this is set goals and stick to them. Decide how you want to live your life, and when obstacles come up, and they surely will, knock them down and KNOW you will pass them up and success is inevitable. That’s the way to build true grit.