For a few months now, I’ve sat on an article that’s just too good to keep to myself: Why True Grit Matters in the Face of Adversity.
I won’t go too much into the details, but suffice it to say the article chronicles one woman’s 20-year, and counting, fight to reduce smoking and improve the health of her fellow Americans.
You might think her struggle has absolutely nothing to do with money, but you’d be wrong. The primary characteristic that drives Sally Herndon to endure such a long and tedious battle is the same one that’s going to drive you to accomplish your goal of financial independence.
It’s called grit.
Dictionary.com defines grit as the ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like.
That’s one definition. Personally, I think Joseph French Johnson, economist and founder of the Alexander Hamilton Institute, really captures the essence of the word in his manuscript The Price of Success. You’re demonstrating grit when you “refuse to believe that there are any circumstances sufficiently strong to defeat you in the accomplishment of your purpose.”
Man! That moves something in me. You mean there’s no one that can stand in my way? Well, they can try, but unless they want to get Spartan kicked in the chest, they’d be well advised to step aside.
In order to be financially successful we think we need to be smart. That’s understandable since the most prominent wealthy folks, e.g., Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, are really bright. But in almost every hard fought battle grit trumps intelligence.
Intelligence is not the main ingredient in the recipe for success. Your ability to solve a Rubic’s Cube in under one minute says nothing of your willingness to commit millions of minutes to a lofty goal.
Let’s say you want to grow your income to $1 million per year. (Why not think a little big in our example?) You have a genius level IQ of 160 plus. Reaching your $1 million per year income target takes 7 years of full-time focus. Now, let’s say you have the same goal but your IQ is only 110. It may take you 9 years to reach your goal. What happens if the genius version of yourself bows out after only 8 months into the 84-month journey while average you keeps trucking along through month 108? It could be that average you is too stupid to realize when to give up, but, more likely than not, it’s grit that kills the quitting bug.
For many people, the road to financial wealth is looooong. That’s why it’s so important you Spartan kick in the chest any stumbling blocks that get in between you and the accomplishment of your goal.
When it comes to money, you’ll earn it, spend it, save it, invest it, lose it, earn some more, spend some more, and so on. It’s unlikely you’ll only experience an upward progression toward your financial goals. You’re human. It’s okay to feel angry and frustrated when things don’t go your way. However, festering in a pool of rancid despair for every minor inconvenience is inexcusable. I simply won’t tolerate it.
If your refusal to get gritty has held you up from meeting your goals, I’ll leave you with this old, but inspirational, saying.
By the mile it’s a trial, by the yard it’s hard, but by the inch it’s a cinch.
What financial challenges have you overcome by chipping away at them?