I recently read some of Angela Duckworth’s articles about “Grit”. She believes that in all the research done on why successful people become successful, there is no correlation between them in regards to economic status, IQ, social skills, physical health, talent, etc. The only thing that all successful people have, whether in school, business, society or any goal one might set is: GRIT. When successful people hit a road bump or experience failure they don’t give up, they don’t downsize the dream, they don’t make excuses. Successful people dig in their heels and keep trying. Even more important is that gritty people use failure as a way to learn and improve going forward.
This word “grit” is appropriate at Breaking Free this month. Heading into our 10th season is only possible because of the sheer grit of people like Bryan and Linda Lake, our instructors and all the many volunteers and sponsors. Especially those who have been here from the start and continue to come every year, refusing to let their passion and dedication fizzle out.
The easiest time to see this grit is in the Winter months. These are not the glamorous months. This is when the grit happens in the office: cold calling new agencies, looking for new clients, new partnerships, new sponsors. We are reading up on the Equine Assisted Activities research, looking for the best lesson plans to suit our students. And Grit happens in the barn: temperatures are in the single digits and yet the grittiest are out throwing hay, cleaning stalls and breaking ice out of buckets.
It occurred to me at our beginner horse clinic this past week that as gritty as I felt in all my insulated clothes walking horses around in single digits, that the grittiest of all were the kids! They showed up despite the freezing temperatures in their sparkle kitten mittens and their mesh Nikes for no reason other than they are so excited to learn about horses. Those kids are going to be the ones that won’t let anything get in the way of their goals. They will be changing the World in the next generation! They inspire me.
This might be a good time for all of us to think about how much grit we have. As we set our New Years goals, How big are we going to dream? How far will we push ourselves to accomplish these dreams? What are we going to do when we don’t succeed at them? Quit? Chalk it up as another year gone, try again next year? Or will we get gritty and learn from the failure.
“True grit is making a decision and standing by it, doing what must be done. No moral man can have peace of mind if he leaves undone what he knows he should have done.” ~ John Wayne