“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Grit is the disposition to pursue very long-term goals with passion and perseverance. And I want to emphasize the stamina quality of grit. Grit is sticking with things over the long term and then working very hard at it.
Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
– Grit and the Secret of Success – fascinating look at the work of pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth, who studies the one personality trait more predictive of success than any other. (via explore-blog)
Leaving behind the army daze
Polished boots and camo cream
The days seem lit with fire
Each free moment few and far between
Sleep never felt so precious
Love’s embrace never so warm
You wave goodbye to regimentation
But it’s always back before long
The days when the scorching sun burns you
The nights when your ideals are washed away
Sometimes your heart fills with doubt
But again and again you enter the fray
Your orders sometimes serve no purpose
You rush to wait and wait to rush
Some moments you look into your buddy’s eyes
And amidst the storm, there descends a hush
There are these brief moments of clarity
When you finally seem to understand
Your suffering is the only thing that’s sacred
And a part of you will always love your land
The essence of bone is not mineral -
not calcium, magnesium or phosphorous.
Bone is not the sum of its physical parts.
There is more to the skeletal system
than osseous tissue and collagen.
What is bone but the amalgamation of fear?
Dread, terror, trepidation packed tightly together,
forming a giant lattice of weakness.
That is why true fear is felt deep in the bones.
There are over 270 bones in an infant -
We were once afraid of the dark,
We dreaded visiting the dentist,
We were scared to look under the bed.
But many of these bones fuse together as we grow;
little fears join to form giant phobias -
Now we cower at the thought of loneliness,
We are frightened of the prospect of mediocrity,
We are terrified of letting on our inability to commit.
We are a culture obsessed with strength,
but it is our weakness that defines us.
A framework of white steel supports us -
Under the bludgeonings of chance,
fear of losing face keeps us standing.
Walls of bone protect our vital organs -
Standing at the edge of our comfort zones,
fear of risk rescues us from the brink of falling.
A system of bone and muscle enable movement –
Faced with the prospect of stagnation,
fear of regressing keeps us hungry and ever moving.
The architecture of fear has remained unchanged.
Scared that we may never surpass our parent’s best,
we are even more frightened that we inherit their worst.
When we die, our fears they will remain.
The body skeletonized, what’s left only disarticulated bone.
But over time even bone crumbles and degrades.
Its vital essence the only thing that’s left behind.
Our fears, like nutrients, are recycled.
Passed through the food chain,
eventually returned back to us.
We are still afraid of the same old things.
There can be no higher life without bone.
There can be no humanity without fear.
BILL WATTERSON ‘A cartoonist’s advice’
Right now, you are missing the vast majority of what is happening around you. You are missing the events unfolding in your body, in the distance, and right in front of you.
By marshaling your attention to these words, helpfully framed in a distinct border of white, you are ignoring an unthinkably large amount of information that continues to bombard all of your senses: the hum of the fluorescent lights, the ambient noise in a large room, the places your chair presses against your legs or back, your tongue touching the roof of your mouth, the tension you are holding in your shoulders or jaw, the map of the cool and warm places on your body, the constant hum of traffic or a distant lawn-mower, the blurred view of your own shoulders and torso in your peripheral vision, a chirp of a bug or whine of a kitchen appliance.”
Why is it so hard to stay optimistic about things?