Where’s your grit?

For the average person, telling them to follow their passion can be dangerous advice. ‘Passion’ is what gets lots of people started on multiple projects. It is the reason why many aspiring Authors write three chapters of what could possibly be a good story only to stop and start working on another story six months later.

Passion is a good place to start a task but it is not often what you need to finish it. More than passion, what most people need to finish a task is mental toughness (Fortitude, grit). This is because most things worth doing are hard. You won’t always have good days. You will encounter a difficult problem that might require weeks to solve. It is during that time that your passion often reaches its limits.

The most reliable people are self-starters

Coming back to the example of an Aspiring Author. In the first few days, it is easy to churn out three chapters because at that point, you are high on euphoria. Then you encounter a challenge that has plagued many Authors. The Protagonist has arrived at a decision point. What next? Passion might not get you through the first stages of writer’s block. At this point, most people would give up and wait for inspiration to strike so they can churn out the next chapter. A person who understands the fickle nature of inspiration, on the other hand, will sit down to make a plan identifying possible paths their protagonist could take. In the process, they might even get a few more chapters written.

The difference in execution comes down to grit. The person who opted to make a plan when they encountered writer’s block, rather than wait for inspiration to strike, understood that perseverance is more important for their project than passion. They had the patience to keep working on an idea in hopes of one day seeing their masterpiece completed.

"We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough
No words needed

Even in a corporate setting, people are more likely to trust those who possess perseverance with more difficult assignments. Afterall, there is no point asking you to lead the next project if you can only produce excellent work when you are in the mood for it.

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