Some of us are born into families and circumstances which give us advantages in life and unfortunately some of us are not. And as hard as the advantaged try, their understanding of the experience of someone who is not, is almost impossible.
Though enslavement is not a common term now, when Harriet Tubman was first born, it was all too commonly used. She was born into such a culture that deemed her as less than and her life was to be committed to service of which she hadn’t chosen. This would be reason enough for her to give up, per say, but it did quite the opposite for her.
Her desire for freedom grew through her torturous enslavement and a love of her faith. When she finally escaped she was able to figure out a way to free others that desired the same life she obtained. Secretly in the night she slowly led groups of slaves to freedom; never losing a single one. After legislation was passed to penalize slaves she committed to helping those that desired to leave the country, do so, and those that chose to stay in the US, find work. Her determination was unmatched and she was driven by something much bigger than herself.
Harriet never expected things to be easy. Though life had basically taught her that from the start, she knew that in order to accomplish anything she needed to become resilient and persevere through all the adversity that were to face her. Her commitment to the goal of freedom for those enslaved drove her through the darkest of times.
Grit is often described as passion and ability to persevere toward long term goals. It is easy to see that Harriet embodied grit unlike many people do. Her circumstances were such that in her mind she had two choices: remain enslaved or become free. She chose to become free.
Having goals is important to keep anyone focused, and though there are many dramatic examples of grit in achieving them there are many less dramatic examples as well. One you may be able to relate more to is a long term goal of weight loss. We all remember the show The Biggest Loser in which those who competed were obese and deeply desired to lose weight and become healthier. We watched as their challenges were documented and their emotional roller coasters played out on television. In order for any one of them to reach their goal let alone win the title of The Biggest Loser, it required grit like you’ve never before seen.
When did you most require grit to reach your goals?
Passion and grit go hand in hand. People will rarely work as hard for something they need to do, but they will work hard 24 hours a day for something they want to do. Identifying those who are passionate about the long term goals of an organization, is essential to its success. More so, hiring passionate people makes the journey much more fun and who doesn’t want to enjoy their daily work?!