Grit: What is meant by the concept 'grit'? Is it perseverance? Is it resilience? Dr. Angela Duckworth, in her book Grit, defines it as passion and perseverance. She describes four psychological assets necessary for grit to prevail. The first is interest, enjoying what you do. The second is daily, deliberate practice, trying to do things better than we did yesterday. The third is purpose, the conviction that your work matters. And last is hope. Hope is a rising-to-the-occasion kind of perseverance. It is important to keep going even when things are difficult. 

I have met many people whose life stories speak loudly of grit and the strength to keep going despite barriers and hardships. My first story of grit is told by my husband, Andy. Andy retired as a U.S. Navy SEAL. In the Navy SEAL teams, grit prevails at every turn, from training to combat missions; these men have passion and perseverance!

Grit: by HMCS Dalton, USN Retired

When I think of "grit," the first thing that comes to mind is to "grit your teeth,"; something you do to bear down, put forth maximum effort, to hang on a little longer. It can also be used to describe having fortitude or the will to keep going when it would be so much easier to quit whatever activity you're trying to finish. It can be demonstrated in the short term, such as finishing strong in an athletic event, or over the long haul, like completing an educational program.

During m service in the U.S. Navy, grit was an absolute necessity. At 18 years of age, I graduated from boot camp and volunteered for Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training. I wanted to be a Navy SEAL. I was a pretty good swimmer and could do calisthenics as well as most, but my running was not very good. I had never run in the sand before and wasn't used to running in boots and long pants. The training was 6 months long, and we had to run everywhere, to the classroom, to chow, and countless miles down the beach. I seemed to struggle with all the runs.

There are different ways to develop grit or different reasons to have grit. It can be taught from an early age, "you work till the work is done." It can be developed for altruistic reasons, "It's the right way to do things." Often it is pride that drives us to keep going when it gets hard, "I can't go home a quitter." This last one seems to fit my situation the best. Before I left home to join the Navy, I told everyone I knew where I was going and what my plans were, I had to finish, and so I did.