What Does GRIT Mean to You?

Reader Contribution by April Renee
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In a classroom full of brains, a professor wrote the word ‘GRIT’ on the white-board, “What is GRIT?” he continued as he turned to face several pair of eyes peering back at him. “What does it mean to you?”

You can imagine, with an open-ended question such as this, the answers that came forth were mixed in opinion and definition. Especially as our minds were gearing up for a math problem.

The thing is – the question didn’t have anything to do with GRIT! This was a statistics class after all … but it didn’t have anything to do with mathematics either. The professor was merely trying to get a reaction from the students. It was apparently that simple.

This got me to thinking though – why was a statistics professor concerned with the notion of GRIT? How was he about to incorporate this into a lesson that would hold any significance to the world of statistics? Not that I really knew anything about statistics anyway, but still … this was not what I was expecting on the first day of class.

No textbook had yet been assigned and there was no previous, dare I use the word, ‘mindset’ to describe the predisposed notion of what was to happen in the classroom on that first day.

Photo: words have power | Fotolia/kentoh

The rest of the brains in the class were having a hard time getting a grip on the question too. We were wondering where the math problems were.

So, I got down to the root of the definition in my own mind’s eye in knowing that I was writing for this blog. “Grit,” I said “is all about hard work.” Some students in the class thought about gritting one’s teeth, or sand, or otherwise they thought of the famous movie True Grit. The point is the opinions were mixed but not in the notion of different purposes.

As the hours of the lesson progressed, we gathered in groups and discussed our opinions of the questions at hand. We also discussed what the heck we thought the professor was up to in terms of presenting this question to us.

Take note here that we were now learning of the required materials for the class – The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

Again, what would this story book have to do with math ? Or GRIT for that matter?

So, I came home to sit with the text in front of me and I think I’ve found the meaning – success depends on a lot of things … and the correlation is that success requires GRIT.

I discuss this here because I know what it takes to run a homestead. I’ve been in your shoes, most of you anyway, literally, I might have even worn them … I shop at thrift stores sometimes to save money.

There is more to my point here – the lesson plan is going to have something to do with statistics … it should be apparent to any of us in the class by now – and after the second lesson after that … but so anyway – What is GRIT? This got me to thinking too …. why is this website called Grit.com? What is the purpose of the definition? Methinks the definition that fits here best goes as follows: firmness of character; indomitable spirit; pluck!

Ha! These are all great words to describe the complexity of the one word at hand – the words mean something. They mean that you read this website because you’re looking for ideas on how to become a better person at what you do – whether it be a garden or running a ranch. Furthermore, you read my blog because – well, I don’t know why you would read this blog, because it’s here perhaps? Because I’m a new contributing author … because the topic piques your interest?

I’m here to tell you something, folks – I’m here to tell you lots of things and sometimes while it may not seem the topic has anything to do with what you’re dealing with at the homestead … I guarantee there is an underlying metaphor in which you can find depth.

For now – I suggest the required reading materials for this class. Words mean something, but statistics mean something too. Perhaps we can all benefit from this curriculum.

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