There are probably a number of reasons why you’re not where you want to be – lack of time, lack of resources, lack of help, or even the fact that there’s so much competition out there. Lets face it: there are alot of other people doing exactly what you do. Don’t stress out! The only thing you need to worry about is being further ahead this year than you were last year.
BUT there is a key to “making it”. It’s not about knowing the right people (although that helps), its not about good looks (although that probably helps too), and its not even about how talented you are (although that certainly helps). The key to longevity and success is…wait for it…Grit. As Psychologist and Researcher Angela Lee Duckworth explains in the below TED Talk, that Grit is the reason her smartest high school students didn’t always do the best in class. According to her research, it was also the reason why certain men made it through military training while others dropped out…and the reason why certain kids advanced further in a Spelling B competition. It’s also why certain teachers stick around in hard inner-city teaching conditions while others bail. Yes, that one characteristic is GRIT.
Grit is defined as…
….passion and perseverance for very long term goals.
…living life like its a marathon, not a sprint.
…sticking with your future. Day in day out. Not just for the week. Not just for the month. But for years.
Grit, in other words, is that strong-willed perseverance that will keep you going even when you’re not seeing immediate results. It’s that trust that something great will eventually happen if you just keep at it. It’s the act of not giving in just because the room isn’t filled or that editor didn’t write you back, or no one bought your album this month, or everyone is talking over your set.
As the new year approaches, we suggest taking some time aside and make a list of your goals, potential accomplishments, and potential likely setbacks you may encounter. Start working up that Grit in yourself. Resolve to keep going even when the going gets tough. Resolve to wake up in the morning and continue booking shows even though last night’s show made you want to punch somebody.
And lastly, read this write-up we posted a few months ago: Stickin’ With It: The Practice of Perseverance. Then check out Angela Lee Duckworth’s TED talk below.