Over the past couple of weeks my teams and I have started reading Grit by Angela Duckworth and then spend an hour or so dissecting a few chapters together each week. Let me start by saying how thankful I am for this specific portion. Spending time with my Express family talking about what we’ve learned and sharing insights into our thought patterns has been awesome. I’ve enjoyed this unique opportunity to get to know my teammates much better. It’s also been wonderful getting back into the habit of learning as a team. What a wonderful way to continue honing our value of Growth Mindset!
Re-reading the book itself has hit me on a different level than I was expecting also. I’ve read it a few times before this and enjoyed it each time, but this time around seems different somehow. I’m not sure if it’s due to the timing of what’s going on around me, where I’m at in my life, or because I’m forcing myself to take it in smaller pieces (only 2-3 chapters each week). Regardless, this has been a wonderful experience.
I pride myself on not being a quitter and as someone who can fight through just about anything. That half of Grit (in the book she refers to this as Persistence) I feel pretty good about. There’s still much room to grow, but I already feel strong there.
The other half (Passion) is a whole different story. Of course I have high levels of passion for things, but the object of my passion seems to shift more than it should.
Something that really hit home for me while reading it this time was a quote by Pete Carroll. Quick aside – Dad has got to be rolling in his grave over this, he really did not like Pete Carroll. “Do you have a life philosophy?” Such a short and simple question that would be so easy to snap call yes only to realize that the answer was no. When I reviewed this section again I realized that my answer was much different than in the past.
When I’ve read this book before I went right back to a canned response that I’ve had for many years that has seemed close, but never quite right. Several mentors and coaches have pointed out its flaws and it has taken me a while to see what they meant. With the benefit of time and reflection I can see that my answer wasn’t quite on track.
Reading Grit this time around I have been thinking of this question much more and I’ve gone in a slightly different direction. When I answer the question from my heart I end up with something more along the lines of “increasing the joy in the world one smile at a time via gratitude.” I think it’s still a ways from being finished, but I can see it coming together in my head. When I view it as something to live by I can see how I am already doing it in some ways and I can also see ways in which I need to modify my actions. Hmm… who knows? If you have any ideas I’m all ears.
While my brain keeps noodling on this I can’t help but realize how thankful I am for re-reading Grit. For whatever reason it is hitting home harder than before and that’s something I’m very thankful for.