There’s one thing that we’re not teaching our young people any more - in school or beyond - and that’s how to persist when things get difficult.  If there’s a trophy for every participant, if there are no consequences to missing the mark, no negative feedback or criticism…how can you prepare a career in the most competitive segments of human endeavour?   What is the single most important quality for any person to possess if they want to get to the very top of their game?  Grit.




  • When asked what people were more likely to make it through the special operations candidate process ‘grit’ was found to be the deciding factor

  • yes it is important to find work that you love, work that you are passionate about, and it is even more important to know who you serve and why; but there still will be very rough patches.

  • There will be parts of your work that you hate doing.  There will be rejection, criticism, bad press, tough breaks

  • And then there will be personal setbacks that threaten to throw you off course.  Make you want to give up.  Give you excuses

  • There will always be a fight.   The secret is to get good at fighting



    • There’s a saying - don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better

    • Distinguish between the parts that are in your control, and the parts that are not.  If you can’t afford an accountant right now, you are your own bookkeeper.  If you have a cold, you can’t sing for 2 weeks.  If you broke your thumb, you can’t paint.  You can control how you react to these situations.  What could you do instead?  How could you work around it?  What new skill could you learn from this adversity?  How could you use your time differently to attack all the things you keep saying you don’t have time for?

    • Learn to love the fight.  If you get good at struggle, and it’s true that ‘the fight is the thing’, notice how you seem better equipped to handle ALL of life’s challenges!

    • Break big things into smaller things.  The minute you hit adversity, set a stretch goal that inspires you.   Something that really gets you motivated.  Why is it important to do this?  And then break that goal into manageable tasks that you can handle each and every day.  You don’t have to know how to plan the whole way to your goal either.  Just start with tomorrow.  What’s the biggest thing you could accomplish in one day that would move you closer to your goal?

    • Get disciplined.   Take massive pride in accomplishing those small goals each day.  It is exactly this skill that can get you anything you want in life.

    • Never let the pressure off.   Don’t finish your tasks without making some new ones.

    • Don’t forget to take a look at where you are at the end of each day

    • No adversity in your life right now?  Find some.   Walk to work.  Volunteer for hard things.  Take a cold shower.  Go without screens or internet for 2 days.   Fast for 18-24 hours.  Add 10% to your workout.  Take 10% of your pay check and put it where you can’t get at it.

    • And then next time, do a little more.



  • You will have failures.  Part of fighting is losing.   There will be setbacks and disappointments even as you’re fighting adversity.  This is part of the fight.

  • This is why its so important to make time - every day - to stop, see where you are, what you’ve learned, how you could do better, and what the landscape looks like now.  Does your initial plan still make sense?  If not, create a new plan for tomorrow.   The plan is ever changing.