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The anatomy of grit

Last weekend, I delivered a commencement address to the 8th graders of Multiple Intelligence International School, celebrating their transition to high school. This momentous occasion got me thinking deeply about the concept of grit and how we can teach this to our youth. This trait has been instrumental in my own journey and one that I believe is crucial for anyone aiming to navigate life’s challenges successfully. In this article, I want to delve into the anatomy of grit and how you can cultivate it to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals.

Grit is often defined as a combination of passion and perseverance. It’s the drive that keeps you going despite setbacks and the determination to see your goals through to completion. In my experience as CEO of Angkas, the leading motorcycle ride-hailing company in the country, grit has been the backbone of our success. From government shutdowns to intense competition, every hurdle we faced was an opportunity to develop and grow.

The first element of grit is expecting problems and embracing stress. Life is inherently unpredictable, and challenges are a given. Instead of fearing them, you should anticipate and welcome them. When problems arise, the key is not to stress over their existence but to channel that stress into finding solutions. This proactive approach transforms stress from a paralyzing force into a motivating one.

For instance, Angkas faced multiple shutdowns by the government and Covid. Rather than succumbing to the stress, we viewed each shutdown as a chance to innovate and improve. We prepared for these challenges by constantly refining our strategies and staying resilient. This mindset of expecting problems and using stress constructively is something everyone can adopt. It’s about shifting your perspective from “Why is this happening to me?” to “How can I solve this?”

Another critical component of grit is treating setbacks like a video game. In gaming, failure is not the end; it’s a learning process. Each time you lose, you gain insights that help you progress further the next time. This analogy applies perfectly to real life. Embrace your failures and view them as opportunities to learn and grow. The