When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
Have you heard of Sarah Blakely and her pantyhose? Yes, the Sarah Blakely who had once worked at the Disney World, wearing Mickey Mouse ears and guiding customers onto an Epcot Center ride. The same girl who scored miserably at LSAT exam twice. The same saleswoman who pedaled $20,000 worth of fax machine door to door. Have you heard of her?
People say Sarah Blakely is lucky that a simple idea like a footless pantyhose catches fire and turns her Spanx pantyhose company from a $5,000 unknown startup into a national billion dollar business. Little that they know what happened behind the stage – how she struggled with her idea, worked two jobs to finance her business and had once shilled her invention from a folding table in the foyer of Neiman Marcus.
Can you do that? Will you do that? Can you go through hardships and stay focus on your goals? Are you willing to commit to your long term goals, to stick your chin high in the face of difficulties and tell yourself that your best days are ahead of you?
Steve Jobs, Richard Branson or J.K Rowing– they all went through adversities – but they all have grit. Grit is that one factor that let them finish what they start when others raise their hand, holding a white flag on air.
Branson was a dyslexic while Jobs, the Apple superstar CEO was once a poor dropout who collected cans for recycle so that he could buy food. And before Rowling’s Harry Potter was a success, she lived in an apartment paid by her sister, divorced with a baby and had thought of suicide a few times before she found someone interested with her book.
She publicly said, “I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me and that I had had for myself had both come to pass. And by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.”
But she has grit. And that’s why she’s up there with the rest of world’s billionaires.
Or take Paul Orfalea of Kinko. The red hair guy can’t even read. Paul said, “Not many kids manage to flunk the second grade, but I did.”
His parents even sent him to school with retarded kids because they thought he is mentally disabled. One day at 13, after he was expelled from school, the vice principal told his mother, “Maybe someday he can learn how to lay carpet.” But boy, Paul didn’t lay carpet. He built Kinkos.
They have what it takes to be successful. They have that one ingredient that keeps that fire burning inside them when circumstances and fate seem like a big fire hose trying to extinguish all their flames.
All successful people have grit. Branson, Jobs, JK Rowling, Orfalea have grit.
Do you have grit?
This short post is written by Lela Iskandar Suhaimi. He runs an inspirational quotes website at My-Inspirational-Quotes.com. He hopes he has grit.