Be Like Sandpaper

Every day, all of us —especially women — are seeking the golden path toward enlightenment, self-actualization and perfection.

What if I told you that whether we are talking about West Point Military Academy, the sales quota or our child’s math test, the key to success is the same? When monitored and measured, the grit that a person demonstrates is ultimately what determines their destiny.

It is not the sand on the sandpaper, but the strength of one’s character that enables life to be like a marathon instead of a sprint. Grit is the ability to maintain your passion and perseverance over long periods of time for the sake of the mission.

The most intelligent and talented people are not the ones who make it to the top of the mountain. The ones who make it to the top are the gritty ones. The question is: how can you become a little grittier?

Be willing to fall

Gritty people understand that failure is not permanent. They see failure as an opportunity that makes them wiser, stronger and, ultimately, better. No one enjoys failure or loves being wrong; but if you have grit, you will study the ground you fell on and be more prepared the next time.

Make the call

Because they are not afraid of failure, gritty people make the tough decisions. Though the path is long and the task appears impossible, every moment spent paralyzed is one moment that wasn’t devoted to conquering a piece of the challenge. When faced with an incredibly challenging task, the best way to get it over with is to get started. Each small success will feed the next effort.

Not yet!

Imagine you are hungry. I leave you alone in a room with your favorite snack — a soft pretzel, let’s say. Before I leave, I tell you that you can eat the pretzel if you’d like, but if you wait until I get back, you can have two pretzels. The person with grit will delay personal gratification for the long-term goal. Based on continued monitoring, these folks have higher test scores and greater career success.

Be kind

When you are cut off on the highway, do you return the favor? Or do you assume good intentions and treat the offender with the same kindness you would anyone else? Gritty people will be kind in spite of rudeness and disrespect. They will not allow their strength of character to be swayed by anyone regardless of the behavior they display.

This is what gritty people do. What about you?

Do you have what it takes? Can you go the distance? Do you know that you are worth it? Do you want to unlock the door to your unbelievable success? Contact me at to connect with someone who will believe in your best.

Published on the Central Penn Business Journal

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