Why do we Endure? Perseverance and Grit

Why do we Endure? Perseverance and Grit

“History is written by the victors.”

Winston Churchill

The past months I’ve seen a lot of roads, airports, and hotel rooms. I am almost regarding Germany as my second home after putting in a solid 12.000 km last three months. I have to skip sleeping, down time, and my BJJ classes. All things I’d rather not, but I made a conscious decision.

I made a decision to go full steam ahead for a business I am helping to build. We install pineapple-cutting machines in supermarkets, and the business is getting more and more traction. The whole operation rests on a small team, and I am (literally) flying all over the place to fix, promote, and sell. I am not even getting paid that much, especially if you consider the hours I put in. I need to have broad shoulders to carry all the responsibility and deal with the pressure. Without sales, the company will not lift off. My job; get it off the ground, no matter what. Use your business school background and your entrepreneurial spirit to get it done.

Why do I do it?

A question I sometimes ask myself when after a tough weekend promoting our machine at an event, without any sale.

Why not just quit?

When I am really having a hard time I might think this, especially when I have to pass on the BJJ class a second time on a row or leave the evening for work again.

Why put yourself through all this?

Cutting back on sleep is kryptonite to me, and I feel less energetic. And knowing that my girlfriend hears me getting out of bed to get in the car at 5 in the morning, and being away from home until the next evening makes me a bit sad.

Why you ask? The power of perseverance or grit.

Perseverance:

“continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition: the action or condition or an instance of persevering: steadfastness”

Grit:

“firmness of mind or spirit: unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger managed to survive by his grit and guile”

When I was young I had some talents. I had some interests. And I had some goals. I also didn’t really go all in. I just kind of did this, and kind of did that. I don’t feel sorry, I have done a lot of cool things, and will keep doing them. But there’s missing this one thing. This big achievement. Something that puts me to the ultimate test. A thing that will push me down, again and again. This thing that is unforgiving, doesn’t care if I have talent, interests, or goal. This thing will kick me when I’m down and under, but will give me the ultimate reward when I persist and endure. This business venture is that thing.

I remember this quote:

“Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there.”

– Josh Billings

It’s kind of stupid, but it really captures the feeling I have writing this article. There is something magical about holding on to something. Going further than others are willing to go. Working harder than you actually think is possible. Doing more and dreaming bigger than you ever did. Read a book about people that achieved something, and you will learn they persisted, and showed grit in times of trouble. Nothing worth having comes easy. So the message to myself every single day is, persevere.

 

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