I was listening to a podcast the other day by Seth Godin.  The person that wrote the books, ‘The Purple Cow’ and ‘Tribes’ (amongst others).  His thinking is clever and useful, a good mix.

His conversation got me thinking about the confusion we often have when labelling the reason for the successes we see. The difference between the success coming because of someone being gutsy or being a genius.

What am I talking about? Stick with me.

Who hasn’t seen somebody do something new, different, or fresh, that succeeds?

We stand back, admire them and in our heads say things like, “Gee that was clever” or “What a smart idea”. We put the success we are seeing from them into the bucket of genius.  The reason they got that success was because they are clever, maybe genius.

Not sure I could do that…..

And in that moment, that thought, we let our potential wane, go unrealised, have limits.
We create a barrier to being more—a barrier called genius.

What we fail to see and acknowledge is the effort these people have put in for months and years to get there.

The wise saying bears out, every overnight success is many years of hard work.

These years aren’t always easy; at times they’re downright tough.  They require guts to keep grinding, to persist, and the grit to endure.

Michael Jordan missed more shots than he got. And shot more shots in practice than anyone else at the time.
Hubert Sanders (you might know him as the Colonel) had 1009 knock backs to his business idea before he got a yes.

They showed guts and grit, they pressed on.

Angela Duckworth in her book Grit offers us a thought:

"Without effort, your talent is nothing more than unmet potential. Without effort, your skill is nothing more than what you could have done but didn't."


I would offer that all of us have the ability to be gutsy. We can all develop the grit we need.

All of us has the ability to press on, press in and press up.
This is an important message presently as we wrestle with this complexity that has shifted all our realities. All of us need ourselves, and each other to do this work.

So rather than considering it genius when another does something that is outside the bounds of what you thought possible.
Instead, maybe you should consider that it was because they were gutsy enough to have a crack. They had the grit to endure.

And I’m wondering, if maybe, you have, and can develop, the grit you need.

And that you are gutsy too.

I believe you are. I believe in you. Press on

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