It’s obvious, we all go through challenges. Sometimes they are are well out of our control but other times we can opt into challenge. You may be thinking, “Why in the world would I try to make my life harder?” Well keep reading and I’ll share why throwing yourself into challenges can change your life for the better.
There’s a great new buzzword out there that, by it’s very nature, is encouraging individuals to look at how they face challenges and obstacles. Grit. Grit is defined as “the tendency to sustain interest in an effort toward very long-term goals.” I personally love this word but find there are some flaws in our ability to assess our own personal grit. First, many don’t know what they want, nor do they have long-term goals. We have enjoyable ideas that float around in our minds but those ideas are quickly swept away by other thoughts or excuses that prevent them from growing into a goal. Which leads to the second flaw, we lack self-control. In Angela Duckworth’s research on grit, she defines self control as “the voluntary regulation of impulses in the presence of momentarily gratifying temptations.” Or in other words, the difficulty one has to choose what’s appealing in the moment rather than embrace delayed gratification.
Luckily, we all have the ability to adapt and advance in our approach to challenge and to build our grittiness. If you look at how our muscles get stronger for example, every time you apply force (challenge) you create tiny tears that then need to heal and repair themselves to adapt to the force you’re applying. This happens over and over again as you regularly apply force to build physical strength. The same principle applies to our mental strength. Every thing that feels uncomfortable provides the opportunity to change you, but depending on how you think about it, it can be for the better or for the worse. You can follow a neural pathway of difficulty that leads to hardness, or a pathway of solution orientation that leads to malleability. But the opportunity only happens when you apply the force over and over again—when you voluntarily opt into challenge.
We all know the benefits of physical and mental strength and we now have some idea on how to build both. So let’s ask the first and final question again, “Why in the world would I try to make my life harder?” This is the most important question of all because this transforms your motivation from something you “should” do to something “I want to do.” When you are moved internally, you need no other force but your own will. By the nature of simply overcoming, you build grit, tenacity, and self control. These qualities become who you are and pave the way for you to achieve anything you set your mind to.
So I invite you to take on challenge in any way, but if you need a boost, register today for our 21-day yoga challenge. Spark Change.