GRIT – the differentiator

IMG_2801On Sunday March 18th, I went to bed promising myself that I’d walk to work the next day, from Kitukutwe (Kitty Town) to Naalya – about 12 kilometers. I had come to the realization that I wasn’t investing sufficient physical capital and therefore compromising the health of my body. I thought I’d give it some shock by subjecting it to a 12km walk!

I woke up the next day and it was raining!!! It wasn’t torrential. It was that ka quiet-ish rain that makes you lose every negotiation with your blanket. “Am I going to walk in this rain?” I asked myself. I was steadily losing the initiative when I jumped out of bed, got ready and decided to take the walk. I knew that I had to keep my promises to myself if I was going to keep growing as a leader. This was no longer just about physical capital, this was a matter of character.

You see, not even my wife knew that I’d made this promise to myself. It was an internal matter. But to grow in character, we must learn to keep our promises to ourselves. Reputation is what others think we are, but character is who we really are. One of the top requirements in character growth is GRIT. Because situations and conditions are always changing, the only tool a leader has in their arsenal for leading self is GRIT!

I am an observer of life, and I have realized that it’s not the most talented who achieve greatness, it’s the most tenacious. In every area of life, be it sports, music, business, leadership, marriage, name it; the people with great success have had something in common, and that’s GRIT. Others may have had great talent or gifting, or even great opportunities, but those don’t last. It’s the tenacious who keep building and going in the same direction for years, and when they succeed, people assume they only began yesterday!

We used to go swimming with my friend Timothy Sebalamu. We’d set out to do a certain number of laps across the pool, usually 20 to 40 laps both ways, meaning 40 – 80 one way. We’d start swimming the breast stroke at a moderate pace. Guys would come around and do wonders – diving, butterfly stroke, racing across the pool etc. They then go out, order drinks and hang around. Sometimes they’d even leave, while we were still in the pool, going from end to end with a moderate paced breast stroke. That experience taught me a lot about grit and staying power.

  • Do you make promises to yourself?
  • Do you keep your promises to yourself?
  • Do you keep your word to others?
  • Do you keep time regardless of circumstances?
  • Do you turn in your assignments in time?
  • Do you write through writer’s block?
  • Do you sing through the tears?
  • Do you preach through the doubts?
  • Do you play through the pain?
  • Do you walk through the rain?

Make a promise to yourself this week, AND KEEP IT! Have a gritty one!


55 thoughts on “GRIT – the differentiator

  1. .Β Reputation is what others think we are, but character is who we really are….my take home… Thanks Mosze.. I find it hard keeping promises to myself… Challenging… Thank you…

  2. Thanks Mozse, making promises to ourselves and having the grit to keep those promises, even when it is only us that know them is a BIG thing. Thanks for the inspiration! When I grow up, I want to be like you!

  3. Reading through this blog has made me realize that my GRIT level is very low. I am doing something about it.

    Did you finally make it to Nalya? It’s quite a journey.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. First I had to google the word Grit and the conviction came in for many times I have promised myself to watch and read a chapter of my ACCA books .
    Hmmm…Mosze let me commit and ACE the paper due in June…

  5. Eeeehhhh naye mukama really wanted me to read this. I made a promise to myself to start walking this week. This morning i was debating whether to start today as promised or push to tomorrow since its rained. Now I have to do it mazima. My character is on the line…..
    Thanks Mosze.

  6. Awesome inspiration and challenge. The ‘rain’ (can be any thing else in our circumstances) is really to test your character. I’ve learned a lot and I am going to discuss this with my accountability partner. Because if I was to rate my grit… So low. Action time it is!

  7. Truth be told, without one pushing him/herself into attaining the desired goal no one will have the audacity to do so. It takes character to break the chains that tend to trap us.

    Thank you Mosze

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