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Beating the Odds

True Grit

Hollywood’s version of “True Grit” came out in 1969 and starred John Wayne.

You can remake this movie today, put yourself in the starring role, and have it run in your home every day.

A recent article in the Boston Globe takes a look at success and concludes that it comes from something it calls grit. Under the article’s definition, grit is about setting “a specific long-term goal and doing whatever it takes until the goal has been reached.”

Recent articles about the lunar landing throw light on this definition. Putting on the spacesuit and riding a rocket into the unknown took one form of grit, for sure. But the REAL toughness came in those lonely days in the lab or the factory, when daily problems HAD to be solved, or else the entire project would have stalled.

Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice just entered the baseball Hall of Fame. Under election rules, players must appear in at least 10 big-league seasons to be considered. This rule shows respect for long-term achievements; it ensures that no one can get in on chance or a hot streak.

Science tells us that greatness can come only through this particular type of long-term commitment; it takes 10,000 hours of the right kind of practice.

Months ago, an article appeared that described REAL toughness on the basketball court. It had nothing to do with strength or size. It had everything to do with forming the correct habits and executing the right plays on the court.

As always, the beauty of this definition means that success is there for you. It’s not about talent, strength or, as in John Wayne’s case, the ability to chase down a bad guy. It’s simply about staying with it.


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