I've known for months now.
A subscription to the Harvard Business Review.
I know, I know... But man, they've got so much quality material, it's ridiculous.
If you don't believe me, go check out their website:
You just might discover you're a nerd too.
They recently featured a post called "Nine Things Successful People Do Differently". Two items on the list really struck a chord.
Item #6 Have grit.
Item # 7 Build willpower muscle.
"Grit is the willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty."
Enter overused cliche': when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
Did you know that they use grit as a way to determine whether someone is going to be able to survive the rigors of military training? Did you know they use grit as a way to determine whether someone will make it to the Celestial kingdom?
Ok, so maybe it's not an "official" indicator. But it could work... think about it.
We're always being told to "endure to the end". You have committed to a long-term goal (perhaps the longest of them all) and every day your grit is tested. Every day you and I face a wide range of difficulties that are trying to keep us from our goal. It's up to us to keep our eye on the prize. It's up to us to persist in the face of difficulty.
Aside from obvious spiritual connection - think about how your grit is tested in other ways. My poor parents have had their grit tested daily by each one of us kids. (well, maybe not my sister Kailynn - she somehow turned out like Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way) The rest of us have sent our parents through the wringer, over and over and over. Raising quality children is a loooooooooonnnggggg term goal that doesn't ever seem to stop and the difficulties that arise when trying to accomplish this goal can sometimes seem impossible to conquer.
So, the next time your child screams at you, comes home drunk, fails a class, refuses to go to church or just says no (to you), step back for a quick second, pony up the grit and know that you have what it takes to persist in the fact difficulty.
Now, let's talk about #7 - Build your willpower muscle. Ooohh, I love this one.
I can't think of muscle building without thinking of the great talk given by our former prophet, President Hinckley. "Faith is like the muscle of my arm. If I use it, if I nurture it, it will grow strong. If I put it in a sling and leave it there, it will grow weak."
The comparison works great to promote building faith. But willpower is a muscle too and quite a difficult one to build. Why? Building willpower requires you to seek to do something you don't really want to do. We love our comfort zones. In fact we tend to only leave these safe havens if we are forced to. And in that moment we feel as though our lives are shattered. Why? Because we have neglected to build our willpower. We have neglected to develop a muscle that will actually help us quickly conquer the challenges that lie outside our comfort zone.
Well, go set a goal to accomplish something you DON'T want to do. I work in a toy/candy store. I LOVE candy. But I'm going to try and go an entire month without my beloved sugar. (I can already feel the withdrawls)