What Have I Got to Gain?

Decisions, decisions, decisions…  According to a recent Google search, the average adult makes approximately 35,000 decisions a day. Most of those decisions are reflexive or unconscious decisions (e.g., scratching, yawning, blinking) but that means there are still a lot of conscious decisions we make on a daily basis. Some of those decisions are less involved such as “What are we going to eat for dinner?” or “Where should I go to get gas?” Even fewer of these daily decisions will be large, impactful ones such as “Should I quit my job?”, “Should we get a pet?” or “Should I go back to school?”

Often, the larger decisions are not made on a whim; they require time to weigh the pros and the cons. Whenever I’m part of conversations with people contemplating a major decision, I find that many of them tend to focus on scarcity. This, in turn, generates anxious and fearful thoughts about the potential losses which ultimately delays the decision and forces people to stick with the status quo. So often we ask ourselves, “What have I got to lose?” and a flood of answers may come. Although it’s usually a rhetorical question, sometimes we’ve got a lot to lose and sometimes we’ve got nothing to lose at all!

In my personal definition of GRIT, the ‘I’ refers to imagination and this component often prompts me to flip things around a little. For example, when it comes time to make a big decision, I tend to ask myself the question “What have I got to gain?”

I find that this subtle shift in perspective will get me energized about a situation that may otherwise appear negative. When my brain registers that I may gain something positive such as insight, perspective or guidance from a challenging situation, I start to imagine new benefits that hadn’t even crossed my mind.

So try and recall any of the 35, 000 decisions that you’ve already made today including the one where you chose to read my blog!!! By the way, thanks for sticking with it 🙂

How do you think things would be different if you approached any of the large decisions by asking yourself “What have I got to gain?”

What have you got to gain in 2020?



Do You Have a Plan B?

“If you express your intentions, the realization of those intentions will follow. Letting other people know your intentions also often leads to the arrival of required assistance from unexpected sources” (Masaru Emoto, 2001).

This quote from Masaru Emoto describes exactly what has happened to me in the last six months! It’s fascinating to know that my journey from unbelievable loss on June 17th to unbelievable gain after setting an intention isn’t rare at all. Similar situations have happened to people over and over again all throughout history in many contexts. I’m not blazing a new trail so I can sigh a breath of relief and find comfort in knowing that almost any challenging situation in which I’ve found myself, or will find myself, has been experienced by a total stranger who is somehow also a kindred spirit.

I’ve relied on my GRIT more times than I can count since launching Gritty Guru Company a few months ago. Although the path I am travelling is new to me, it is well-marked and defined by my commitment to my Plan A: accompanying others as they take the time to Know, Grow and Show their GRIT. Little did I know that stating my intentions to start my company out loud and sharing my vision with powerful people around me would make this journey a reality. One of my favourite parts of this adventure so far is that, by letting others around me know my intentions, I’ve been embraced by a community of my own Gritty Gurus who have brought valuable insights, hugs and inspiration to my travels.

I know each and every day there are so many decisions that you are likely working through. For the decisions that you’ve been contemplating, both big or small, are there a couple of steps on the path you can finally commit to and unleash the “required assistance from unexpected sources”?

Say your intention out loud, get on the path and let a Gritty Guru join you along the way to your destination. Yay for Plan A; no need for Plan B!



Do You Find Inspiration in ‘The Invitation’?

In a previous blog I shared a list of great publications that put the spotlight on grit. I called it GRIT Lit and one of the two poems is ‘The Invitation’ by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. I thoroughly enjoy this poem because I feel as though it draws attention to the range of grit needed for all manner of situations that life inevitably throws our way. 

I invite you take a few minutes today to find a quiet space and read the poem out loud from beginning to end in one sitting. You may even need to read it more than once; take your time and let the words settle around you as well as within you!  As you’re reading, notice which sentences make you nod your head in agreement or even utter mmm-hmmm. Can you identify a person in your life who embodies these characteristics? Are there any lines that fully align with who you are? Is there a section that you feel doesn’t fit with you at all?  Finally, take notice if there are any verses that cause confusion or heartache!  Are there any sentences that make you shake your head in disagreement? Perhaps there are some parts that seem like a new thought or new way of thinking? 

For me, the last two sentences in the poem speak to my soul. They reliably get my head nodding and my GRIT growing: “I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and truly enjoy the company you keep in the empty moments.”  

Let the words sit with you and allow yourself to fully embrace the invitation!!!


The Invitation by Oriah

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dreamfor the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon… I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain mine or your own without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful to be realistic to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy. I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day.And if you can source your own life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure yours and mine and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, Yes.

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get upafter the night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming, from the book The Invitation, published by HarperONE, San Francisco, 1999 All rights reserved

To Be or Not to Be… a Guru?

The term guru can mean very different things to people based on their culture, faith or personal history. In spite of the variety, I’ve noticed some common threads throughout the definitions. According to Webster’s Dictionary, a guru is a Sanskrit term for a “teacherguideexpert or master” of certain knowledge or field.[1] In pan-Indian traditionsguru is more than a teacher, in Sanskrit guru means the one who dispels the darkness and takes towards light, traditionally a reverential figure to the student, with the guru serving as a “counselor, who helps mold values, shares experiential knowledge as much as literal knowledge, an exemplar in life, an inspirational source who helps in the spiritual evolution of a student”.[2] A guru is also one’s spiritual guide, who helps one to discover the same potentialities that the guru has already realized.[3]. 

The definitions which resonate most with me are the ones recognizing that a guru’s primary responsibility is drawing out wisdom and insights from within an individual as opposed to imparting external thoughts and ideas. 

During many memorable times in my life, I have inspired and been inspired by my friends, family, and co-workers when we tell each other about difficult aspects of our lives. I’m truly humbled whenever people choose to share what’s in their hearts as well as on their minds! I see marvelousness in people around me but, all too often, I realize as I listen to their stories that they have lost sight of their gifts and their GRIT. In this sense, I believe a Gritty Guru is someone who promotes candid self-reflection and encourages people to consider the opportunities that often come with challenges once they tap into the mountain of resources already residing within them.

In my last blog, I talked about GRIT trading cards as a tiny, keep-close-to-you reminder of the amazing person you are and the unexpected results that are possible when you know your GRIT.  My consulting model is firmly rooted in the value of igniting people’s understanding of the resources they already possess and working together to navigate obstacles with renewed purpose and passion. As a Gritty Guru, I won’t define your GRIT for you, but I’ll do the following throughout our time together:

  • listen to your words, 
  • teach you what I know about grit, 
  • remind you of your unique abilities, 
  • guide you toward implementing the ideas and visions you have about you and 
  • inspire a sense of GRIT that you can keep with you in everything you aim to do. 

Honestly, I was nervous about using the word guru in my company name.  I was nervous that people would assume there was an implied distance or perceive an imbalance of expertise between myself and others. I considered other names such as: (i) Gritty Girls and Guys, (ii) Gritty in the City and (iii) GRIT Group. After much reflection, Gritty Guru Company seemed most accurate in communicating my sincere hope for others to thrive on the opposite side of the obstacles after they’ve taken the time to learn as much as possible about the path ahead and the ways in which fear, doubt, hopes and dreams may impact travels along the way.

So, yes, I am a Gritty Guru!  I can be a Guru and you can be a Guru. In fact, you may already be a Guru!?!