Every success story is riddled with trials, triumph, and tragedy. The ability to overcome these barriers is what makes them so appealing. From the small startup disrupting the industry giants to a small platoon battling a massive army. In these moments our character is tested, and our resolve built.
When it seems like there’s nowhere to go is when the fiercest battles take place in our mind, body, and spirit. The ones who triumph are forever remembered in history, and the rest are forgotten.
So what’s the difference between these titans and the average person?
It’s not social standing, stature, or even wealth. The determining factor that separates the haves from the have-nots is their grit and determination. In one word, perseverance. Grit is the quality that keeps us moving forward in a sea of turmoil, facing a tidal wave of doubt, we batten down the hatches and weather the storm.
Sticking to the plan when most have already walked away. Working alone, silently, without pay, and without recognition. It’s this quality that makes us bend but not break. We wag our fingers in defiance of the odds, shattering the alleged barriers of reality.
Forever pushing the limits of what’s possible, creating new horizons and blazing our name on new frontiers. It’s this quality that makes the finest men and women of history seem like gods amongst mortals.
Either placed in these situations by choice or by circumstance, this is when we shine the brightest. The ability to hold ourselves to a different standard and not settling for mediocrity. Forever striving for success in an unrelenting fashion, knowing that failure is not a permanent condition, but a temporary inconvenience.
It’s this self-accountability and awareness to recognize that nothing worth having comes easy. Risking it all while showing up and performing every single day without any loss of enthusiasm.
“Fortune favors the brave.” – Publius Terence
Rise to the occasion
The crew of the Essex knows this quality all too well. When placed between a rock and a hard place they chose to rise to the occasion. This incredible tale is the inspiration for Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and a true story of perseverance and the fighting spirit.
The Essex was a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts piloted by Captain Pollard and his 20 men in the 1800’s. During their whaling expedition, the ship was rammed by a sperm whale sinking it.
This left Captain Pollard and the crew fending for their lives on three small rescue boats hundreds of miles away from civilization with no land in sight. With little provisions, much of the Essex crew did what they could to fight off starvation and dehydration. Sadly, much of the crew perished due to these abysmal conditions, but the survivors did not lose hope.
With such a dire situation most would succumb to the circumstances, but Captain Pollard kept his resolve and encouraged his men. After weeks at sea, the remaining survivors eventually resorted to cannibalism doing anything necessary to fight off death.
Surviving long enough for a passing ship to rescue them the survivors were found delirious, starved, and a shadow of their former selves. Eventually, the surviving crew returned to Nantucket, Massachusetts to their family where they tried to forget the horrors of the ocean.
Fighting seemingly insurmountable odds in a literal sea of despair is why the Essex survivors will forever be remembered. Their courage and ability to endure the agony of hopelessness is a quality we should all strive to obtain.
“Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.” – Roger Crawford
Learn to fight adversity
Luckily for us, we are not in life and death circumstances, but many times we are too easily discouraged at the first sign of resistance. Unable to say no, stand up, and do what is necessary in the face of adversity. We must learn to channel our inner survivor and fight off these obstacles with the tenacity of a prize fighter.
To do otherwise would be selling ourselves short and conforming to the reality that society has placed on us. Rather than living on our knees let’s die on our feet knowing that at the end of the day we gave life everything we had. Leaving no stone unturned forever pushing past our comfort zones.
We must realize that life is a bold adventure and to take advantage we have to keep throwing things against the wall knowing that eventually, something will stick. Everyone thinks that there’s such a thing as overnight success, but its years in the making. Let’s make the commitment to strengthen our resolve because if we never quit, we cannot fail.