Angela Dee Duckworth says,

 

“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years. And working really hard to make that future a reality.” “Grit is living life like its a marathon, not a sprint.”

“Talent doesn’t make you ‘gritty.’ Our data show very clearly that there are many talented individuals who simply do not follow through on their commitments.” “In fact in our data, grit is usually unrelated, or inversely related to measures of talent.”

“So far, the best idea I’ve heard about building grit in kids is something called “growth mindset.” This is an idea developed at Stanford University by Carol Dweck, and it is the belief that the ability to learn is not fixed, that it can change with your effort. Dr. Dweck has shown that when kids read and learn about the brain and how it changes and grows in response to challenge, they’re much more likely to persevere when they fail, because they don’t believe that failure is a permanent condition.”

~*~

Some significant thoughts that occurred to me while watching this video. She changed her life at 27 (I just turned 28!), and many of the things she’s saying reminds me of NLP. I had unscheduled chat session with Cris about life this morning. I was in the 13th floor doing my business when I noticed that the light in the OD department was open. It’s Saturday today, so I decided to check it out. Lo and behold, hello there, Cris! We got to talk about what happened to me in P.E.T.A.

Okay, so what happened to me in P.E.T.A.?

During the interview, the girl noticed that my workshop experience and training was equivalent to that of a professional theater actor. To put it bluntly, she was wondering why I was enrolling (yet again) to another theater workshop, when I didn’t have intentions of doing it for a living. I told her what I usually tell everybody: “I’m doing this for fun.”

I’m doing this because I can’t stop. I’m doing this because I always come back to this art form, eventually. That day was eventually. I’m doing this for fun, and it makes me happy.

After I said that, I became aware of the emptiness gnawing at my insides. What is the reason I’m spending a lot of time, effort, and money on workshops? Suddenly, I realized my reason wasn’t good enough, and it didn’t warrant the time I spend on my “extra-curricular” activities. This is a hobby, yes. It started as a fun hobby, yes. But when she ran down the years I’ve spent hanging around productions, involving myself in workshops, I realized that this doesn’t sound like a hobby anymore. No wonder my mom is concerned.

How my life turns out is made up of the time I spend on activities. Where I invest my time and energy in, I become better at, year after year. And regardless of the fact that I don’t do this professionally, I’ve seen my skills grow a lot from the time I started out. I’ve spent the majority of my mid-20’s honing my skills and knowledge in theater, but just barely. Just barely, because I only attend workshops when it’s available. Just barely, because I never took it seriously. Just barely, because I haven’t done anything with my training. I never even thought of it as training, until she listed down what I’ve been doing for the past few years. She even mentioned Cynthia Guico and said, “You’re taking Guico! This is serious stuff.”

Cue mid-life crisis moment.

And then I find myself enrolling in a musical theater class again. The girl did me a favor and said, “…You should really take the advanced class because you have enough experience, believe me. The only difference between you and me, is that I do this for a living and you do this for fun.” Then she dropped the next bomb: “So you’re taking up an MA in Social Psychology, and you’re working as a Training Officer for ABS-CBN. And you’re taking lots of workshops. I just want to know, where are you going with this? What’s your plan?”

I have a vague plan, believe me. But I never really had the guts (or grit) to push through with it. I always have reasons, heartaches, reasons, heartaches, and moments where I cut myself off from the world, watch TV series and eat lots of junk food. But I’m 28 now. That question isn’t irritating or bothersome anymore, it’s relevant and terrifying.  So back to what Cris said about all that. She said that I shouldn’t feel sad, or worried about it. Steve Jobs found the connection between his calligraphy class and developing the mac.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” -Steve Jobs

“What you are Marj, is simply a creative person. You just need to decide what you’re going to do with all the tracks that you’ve been keeping yourself busy with. You can find the connection, but you just have to decide eventually what you want to do with what you have. Your experience in training, theater, and psychology… may connection nga yan e. You just have to decide what to do with it.” That’s the gist of what she said, but not in verbatim. It gave me a measure of comfort, knowing that all I have to do is make a decision. You know, become serious about thinking of where I want to go and what I need to do.

Actually focus on a goal, and really work hard for something. That’s it.

All I have to do is decide. No biggie.

Yup.

ACTUALLY, it’s a biggie.

Making decisions on things terrify me. I’ve always been a true Type 7, and structure is something I just don’t like. And yet, I’m at the point that I have to grow up and make decisions. How unfortunate!

There’s really no question about it. To not decide is to remain where I am. And I don’t want to stay where I am. I don’t think this is who I’m meant to be. I think I’ve misapplied myself for so long and the only person stopping me from achieving my wants and goals is myself. I have to decide that I will want what I want, and stick with it. I now understand what they say about finding oneself. It’s essential to figure out who I am and what I want, because it determines what I end up loving for the rest of my life.

“Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in a love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.” -Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ

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