In our contemporary world, where our social fabric is getting transformed by social media and instant gratification, it is becoming increasingly rare to find people with individual grit and determination rather than individuals who are solely mediated by sociocultural ideas. Socio-cultural ideas and choices are no joke, if you strictly follow them you will always make a living (which is not bad at all) but however, when your life comes to an end, you may fail the man in the mirror. That’s not good, at all.
Individuals who seem to look very closely at the socio-cultural realm find what’s required the most and introspect their abilities to see what can be produced best by them, have become a rare kind. These are the kind of people who seem to be relatively happiest on long-term, and relatively the most successful.
Reaching that status-quo is no cupcake and that requires a ton of grit, self-confidence, and determination. But, most of all, you need grit.
We’ll try to break down some elements that make people have ‘Superhuman Grit’ in this not-so-superhuman contemporary world.
1. Truth and Meaning
“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”
I think these are the most vital elements of having unbelievable grit. It’s so good that it has convinced many men to go through hell and come back.
Life is short and brutal. You’re going to die in roughly 2800 weeks (if you’re 17 right now, and lucky). Also, if you manage to live longer than others, you will inevitably see your loved ones die. You’re definitely going to suffer one way or another, it is absolutely inevitable. Worse, at the end of the day, it seems as though it had all ended in a flash. That’s quite harsh.
But, you also play a pivotal role in this world. It’s not like you’re just one in seven billion and that whatever you do have no serious impact in this world. That’s the nihilist point of view and nothing could be more wrong. You’re actually more like a node in a network. Whatever you do will affect the people around you. It could be your family, friends, acquaintances etc. Since this affects them and they affect the network around them, your action goes around like a ripple-effect in ways that you cannot imagine. And, in this current world of social media, you have no idea how much you can influence people’s lives and it’s unbelievably wide-ranged. It’s immeasurable. So, what does this mean? Whatever you do doesn’t only affect your fate but also the fate of everybody around you and the fate of the world. That is a fact, by the way, and I’m in no ways trying to paint you a beautiful-virtual world. The idea is, everything you do has meaning, therefore, everything you do matters. That’s cool.
What’s the price of accepting this truth? It’s responsibility, which is no cupcake. The nihilists have their own interpretation which is also true from their materialistic point of view. They say I’m paraphrasing, “The universe is going to end in X years and whatever you do is going to be useless and it has no meaning whatsoever because it all ends. ” It’s a pretty damn good argument because there’s a good amount of scientific literature supporting it.
So, this is really a choice, at the most fundamental level. Either everything you do has full of meaning or everything has no meaning at all.
My take on this topic is, we don’t know exactly when the universe is going to end and if it is going to end, we humans may have a good chance to stop it. Is it cocky to say that we’ll save the universe? You don’t know that and neither do I, so why don’t we at least try? Why not contribute at least a little towards that goal? That’s why I think the nihilists say life has no meaning because they’re afraid to take the responsibility of the fact that everything has meaning.
That being said, here is a question that you would’ve probably asked yourself already:
“How can I make my life worth living?”, or in an even more existential phrasing “How can I live in such a way that it is worth the suffering?”
Here’s the best and worst part of it: No one in this world could answer that question for you except you. They all can give you hints and tell you about their experiences but when it comes to the moment, it is your call to choose your path. How do you find out that path?
Now, let’s say you’ve chosen something you like to do. How do you figure that out? Well, you experiment and say the truth. The former is your adventure, you have to just play the game of life to do that. But, the latter, in my opinion, is the harder part. It is because while saying the truth, you will have to admit something that you may not want to believe. In some ways, it’s even brutal. Sometimes, there is a sacrifice when you do that, making it incredibly hard. A part of you dies while doing that. Why? Because you’re admitting that you’re wrong somewhere, and not just that but you also realize that you were thinking you were right all along but you were actually wrong. That part of you in the past dies. Something like that is always tough to swallow.
Saying the truth is the precursor to Self-Awareness. And without Self-Awareness, you’ll be left for dead.
Answering these questions truthfully will probably get you an answer to find out what you would like to do for a long time (Year/s or a lifetime).
- Is it something that you think you can provide to the world and be really damn good at it? If yes, why, and what will make you competent for it?
- Is it something you would love to do virtually all day and every day for the next year/s, or the rest of your life? If yes, why?
- Is it something that’s worth the suffering? If yes, why?
2. Do it, just do it.
I’ve seen people who tyrannize themselves trying hard to be efficient at something but in the end, they fail to do anything at all. So, how do you do it? Set a goal and just try doing it. When you’re starting out, it doesn’t matter how long you do something in a single session or how efficient you are. Start small. All it matters is the effort to give it a shot (by doing it) and the will to reach the goal that you’ve set in your own estimation by considering the degree of your competence at that time. Be truthful, that’s vital while doing his.
3. Own your actions and compete.
Something which people do often right after they fail is the worst, it ruins them. They compare themselves to others who are successful at that moment and become absolutely resentful about it. They just don’t become resentful but blame everything other than themselves for it. If you watch yourself closely and honestly, you’ll notice identical thoughts in your mind too. Why didn’t you do ‘X’ and get your desired ‘Y’? It is because of your friends, family, that video game, that football/cricket match that you cannot miss, that food you crave, that incident, that phase of your life, etc? No. It’s you. You chose to do that activity ‘Z’ instead of ‘X’, and that got you nowhere. If you really want to get somewhere that’s worthwhile, and stay at that place, you have to own your actions. You are responsible for whatever that happens to you. That is some serious responsibility but also liberation at it’s purest.
Now, that being said, how do you compare yourself? Compare yourself to who you were yesterday and not someone else today. This will make you look at things pragmatically and help you solve your contemporary problems.
However, comparison with the people around you cannot be ignored because it is vital to know where you hold your position in a hierarchy. Here’s how you do it. Take a look around, look at the people who are doing it better than you. The first question you should ask yourself is “What can I learn from this person to improve my own skill set?” Now, if you see something that you can learn, explore that element and go into introspection. Ask the person (and possibly establish a relationship), or just watch them. However, this isn’t the case for the most part. It isn’t easy to find out what people really do at all. So, what do you do? Be grateful that those individuals exist to make you and the world better. And, no, I’m not asking you to deceive yourself to believe that. It’s genuinely true. I mean, what’s the alternative? A world filled with incompetent people where no one is better than you or a world where everybody is trying hard to be competent and climb up hierarchies? The latter makes the world better, more competent, and closer towards heaven. Always hope for tough competition. It’s good for you, it’s good for everybody.
4. Create a schedule and stick to it.
How is your hour going to be like? How is your day going to be like? How is your week going to be like? How is your month going to be like? How is your year/s going to be like? Figure them out and that’s how your life is going to be like.
Believe it or not, there are people who make schedules for months ahead. Yes, what that means is, they have planned out how they would be working (and/or living) every single day for the next month or more. You don’t have to schedule for months ahead, how about the next week? That’s quite far enough. How about you just start by writing down how your tomorrow is going to look like? And, don’t tyrannize yourself while following that schedule. There will be ambiguities when the day comes but the idea is to set the ideal day that you could have and see how close you get to it in your own estimation. To see how much you get done in a given day, try having a 5-minute journal to write down what you had done throughout that day. But, most importantly, start small and then expand while scheduling. Google Calendar is pretty good or the old-fashioned diary would do just as good if not, better.
And, that’d be a decent pathway towards Superhuman Grit.
I hope you will buy and/or drink the best booze.
Feel free to comment, your opinion is always welcomed here. 🙂