At this point in time, some of you may be tired of me sharing video clips as part of my articles for Dalat News. I hope that readers are taking the time to click on the links, as the videos themselves bring home the point of our theme so much better than my written words.
Over the last few weeks, a number of people have shared videos with me that do a great job of highlighting the topic of grit. It is exciting for me to get the emails because it gives me a sense that this theme is really taking root in our community, and that it is permeating more than just our classrooms or hallways.
So, all of that is to say, I have not just one, but two videos to show you. They are both from a company called Under Armour which makes sports shoes and apparel. They are good videos because they do a great job of showing the lonely or boring side of grit, which takes personal integrity.
We celebrate the achievements of people when they do great things. People like Stephen Curry (basketball star), Michael Phelps (Olympic swimmer), Vanessa May (violin music star), David Blaine (famous magician), and so on, reach worldwide notoriety because of what they accomplish. What we don’t see, and often forget, is the tens of thousands of hours they have worked on their craft alone and by themselves, sometimes early in the morning or late at night when we are all asleep. Someone who has grit is someone who has the self-discipline and integrity to do what you might call “the boring work” or “the lonely work”: shooting free throws over and over again when no one is around, swimming laps in solitary silence hour after hour, music scales and practice every day, taking a year to master a card trick that makes everyone believe in magic. All of that happens out of the limelight, away from the crowds when they are alone and on their own.
We need to teach our kids that accomplishing big things happens in the little things – the habits they form, the discipline to keep working at something, the grit needed to persevere even when it isn’t fun and may be kind of boring.
The two videos below highlight this aspect of grit very well, and I would encourage you to share them with your kids and talk about this idea of “lonely work.” One of the steps to building grit in our kids is to show them examples of it and talk more about it as we “do life” together.