The Power of Grit.

“Ability to learn is not fixed, that it can change with your effort”

Growing up I was always seen as the “weaker” student compared to my fellow peers. Whether it be starting off in French immersion school and being told I couldn’t handle it or starting off grade one having to be taught to read privately or even moving to grade 5 and not being able to keep up with my peers in math or writing. I was told with my grades I would never move on to university by my own parents.

However, upon watching this Ted Talk I realize how much the power of grit has impacted my own life. Whether it be the story of grade 1 me who not only learned to read, but learned to read at such a pace that I advanced beyond that of my peers to the extent on a standardized test only 4% of students would have surpassed me. Let alone move to grade 5 where with working with my teacher privately I surpassed everyone’s expectations and learned to write in cursive and improve my mathematical abilities. It was also that same teacher that recognized my potential and pushed me to do better knowing that I needed a bit of a push to get started.

It was the comparison have having friends that were all gifted or in advanced placement that pushed me to do and be better to not be the one that was always behind.  Even in comparison to my sister who spends hours studying, reading and perfecting her notes even today in a top law school, I was always seen as the “lazy” one because I never tried as hard or put in as much effort to get the same grades. Whether it be in music, physical education, or even school work I was determined to beat the expectations that were placed upon me by others. I would spend hours listening to lecture or practicing to be better than those around me and I was determined to try my best. While I don’t put in the effort most students do, I have developed strategies that work for me whether it just be attending lectures and listening or skimming over the text book a few times or even re-listening to lectures on my own time. I was and always have been determined to not settle for less and to get into not only some of the best schools but also some of the best programs. To some extent though I am lazy, I never had to try as hard as some of those around me to understand concepts or study for hours on end. I was also known as the stubborn kid by many teachers growing up who only put in her effort for things I wanted to do or to beat expectations.

I still remember sitting on the floor one day in my room back in gr.9 and flipping through books of university wondering how I would ever get in with a 71% average. To eventually graduating from a tough high school with and 87% average. Although I was often seen to struggle through high school with kids so smart it would blow your mind, i’m incredibly grateful for the determination, skill building, challenges it set for me because it prepared me well to compete in a university setting. Who would have thought I would spend 3 years on the Dean’s Honor list, with the one year me not making it was due to my major struggle with depression in my third year. Let alone go on to doing her Master’s at a top 20 school and competing with some of the best and brightest doctors and lawyers.

However, looking at things as a whole I never let failure stop me from achieving whatever it is I wanted to do. Anytime I experienced failure, I got back up and went to work in order to kick ass. I’ve had many setbacks in life whether it be emotionally, personally, or even academically but the one thing I can look at as a whole was my determination and oftentimes hard work set me apart from my peers. I was never viewed as the smartest kid growing up but you could ask any of my teachers and they would tell you I was often the most preserving and determined student. It’s amazing to think what grit can do to kids and setting a bright future for themselves.

Take a few minutes to watch this insightful talk 🙂


Motivation in 20 Minutes.

Honestly. I’ve been so into motivational speeches lately and why do I do things the way I do and how can I do it better. If you’re not developing and growing as an individual, you’re dying. I’m always seeking to better my potential and figure out how is it that I can better myself to better the people around me. I love being inspired, am drawn to finding success and unlocking my own happiness, and enjoy the puzzle of trying to build a better Me. Sometimes, I get stuck or put myself in a position where I don’t know how to change things or wonder why when I do something it’s not fulfilling enough.

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

– Tony Robbins

I’m not into the cuddly, fluffy, bull crap that’s often tied to life coaching. So I was skeptical to hear of Tony Robbins from my friend who had also gone through so difficult times in his life. I love the use of taboo language, it shocks you back into reality and that’s what makes him such an enticing public speaker.

For those too lazy to watch the video (although I encourage you to watch it!), here are some quick notes:

  • Decision is the ultimate power: Decisions shape destiny; Decisions shape our culture.  You can get emotional fitness and psychological strength.
  • Two primary forces that shape us:
    • Our State:  Physical/Emotional. If we get the right emotion, we can motivate ourselves to do anything (ex. if you’re creative enough, if you’re fun enough).
    • Long-term: Our model of the world (our filter), the shaper of meaning, emotion and action. That’s what’s shaping us. That’s what makes people make decisions.
  • The defining factor is never resources (Time, Money, Technology, Contacts, Experience, Management) – its resourcefulness (Emotion, Creativity, Determination, Love & Caring, Curiosity, Passion)
  • 6 Human Needs. Robbins says our 6 human needs are: certainty, uncertainty, significance, connection, growth, contribution. We have a need for certainty until we are certain, and then we need surprise and variety.  We have a need to stand out and be significant and make our mark on the world, but we also have a need to blend in and be part of the crowd.  We have a need to experience growth and to make our contribution and give back to others.

As individuals we all have the ability to make a positive impact in our communities, workplaces, and across the world, and it’s all up to us, as individuals, to overcome our fears to reach that potential.