The World is Tough. No Matter What Your Worldview Is.
And he said, “Son, this world is rough
And if a man’s gonna make it, he’s gotta be tough
And I knew I wouldn’t be there to help ya along
So I give ya that name and I said goodbye
I knew you’d have to get tough or die
And it’s the name that helped to make you strong”
He said, “Now you just fought one hell of a fight
And I know you hate me, and you got the right
To kill me now, and I wouldn’t blame you if you do
But ya ought to thank me, before I die
For the gravel in ya guts and the spit in ya eye
‘Cause I’m the son-of-a-bitch that named you Sue”
Grit is doing what you must to, though you may not want to do it, to be who you want to become, to accomplish what you want to accomplish. Grit is doing the work, no matter how arduous it may be, every damn day no matter who’s watching. Gameness is what gets you up for the fight, it’s what enables you to put your foot in the arena.
Grit brings you to the battle. Grit is the act of fighting no matter how long the war wages on. It’s fighting through wins and losses without quitting or thinking about quitting. You need both gameness and grit.
The world is a tough place, no matter where you live or what your view of it may be. You can be ignorant to how tough a place it is, but at some point in your life, this reality will come crashing down upon you and it’s gameness and grit that will help you not only survive, but thrive.
For starters, fuck surviving.
If you were put here to survive you wouldn’t have ambition gnawing at your soul begging of you to become more. Survival may have once been a great accomplishment. When you’re a skinny human running around with saber-tooth tigers with nothing but a wooden spear in your hands, survival is actually out of the norm. Death was normal. Being eaten was likely. Dying from infection, a daily occurrence. Survival, that was an accomplishment.
It is, in some cases, still quite an accomplishment. Now, however, we have the capacity to shape our world like never before, and with this ability has come a loss of the grit and gameness that made each of our ancestors survivors while their pals died before they could plant their seed.
Gameness in the wild, in a tribal setting, even in sports, is a must. The timid soul fails, the guy who’s game and steps to the plate while the rest of his team quivers at the possibility of failure, wins, even if he doesn’t win. Grit enables the training and preparation to allow the gameness to result in victory.
Without gameness you’re stuck on the bench. Without grit you’ll quit. While goodness and niceness are good and nice to have, grit and gameness are a must if you’re going to win at the game of life.
As life will present you with challenges you may not think you can withstand, it’s important that you possess both the gameness to stand up and attack the challenges head on, and the grit to endure the often long and seemingly pointless battle you’re waging. So how is gameness created and grit practiced?
That’s the question…
It’s a question that few can answer, if anyone. The responsibility falls on a society, on parents, and on the individual. And since society has turned its back on toughness, grit, gameness, and all things manly, and since you’re likely a tad too old to be asking your parents to force you to become more game and grittier, that responsibility lands squarely on the shoulders of you, the individual most responsible for your own success and happiness in this lifetime.
What we’re doing daily as we live our lives either on auto pilot or on purpose, is practicing. We’re either practicing improvement or mediocrity, softness or toughness, weakness or strength. The idea is to lay out a routine and the habits that will help you improve in life, and acquiring greater grit and gameness must be on the list of things you aim to practice or else they simply won’t happen.
Practicing grit can be a bit easier than practicing gameness because grit is often doing the things you may not want to do for the greater good. For your success.
To practice grit, take care of your home. Take pride in where you live, work, eat, sleep, mate. Have a routine where you give time to yard work and keeping things in order.
Do the job until it’s done.
Practice persistence, daily. One of the best places to practice it is in the gym. Don’t take rest periods longer than those prescribed. Finish the workout. Don’t cut corners. Endure. Practice this also in your life. See things through that you’ve set out to finish. Always. Without question. Sure, shift and evolve, but don’t quit when things become difficult.
Gameness is another animal because it’s best practiced in the face of physical fears.
The practice gameness does not mean that you should walk up to a giant human and attempt to beat their brains out. It may mean that you sign up to a boxing gym. Practice gameness may mean that you practice jumping at the chance of adventure despite any danger that may accompany it.
Gameness isn’t being ready for action when all things are calm. Gameness is being as David was, ready to fight and to die when all others quiver in their sandals.
Both gameness and grit require self-awareness.
You need to hear the voice that is telling you to quit so you can stand up against it. Most hear the voice as their voice. Not as a voice that opposes who they are; their character. To hear a weak voice as something other than who you are sets you up to be able to fight against it and persist through its temptations over time. It allows you to have grit.
Self-awareness also enables gameness. It’s necessary to determine whether your fears of physical harm are intelligence or the wuss in you. It’s also important to understand that life cannot be forever, and that living life as a victim purely for survival is no way to live. I’ve said fuck surviving before, and it applies again, here. To live is to enter life’s arena; which requires gameness. To live is to exist and work for something greater than your own survival, for a purpose; which requires grit. The two are not only vital virtues required for greatness, but happiness as well. They are the two primary virtues you need to man up and live the life you can be destined to live.
Practice both of them daily. Be aware of the internal battles you face because its these that shape the man you are to become and they’re happening every second.