“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot hard work.”- Stephen King.
1th June 1997 – Game 5 of the NBA finals between Chicago Bulls and Utan Jazz, also known as “Flu Game” in which food poisoned Michael Jordan played one the best game of his career. Jordan said “I almost played myself into passing out. I came in and I was almost dehydrated and it was all just to win a basketball game. I couldn’t breathe. My energy level was really low. My mouth was really dry. They started giving me Gatorade, and I thought about IV.” Despite his illness, Jordan recorded an unbelievable 38 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 1 block, including a 3 pointer with less than a minute left that gave bulls a lead that they did not relinquish. Chicago won by 90-88.
So what was it that made sick Jordan to stick and play? Was it his game skills or was it something else that made weak and dehydrated Jordan to stand against all odds???
In her book GRIT : The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Author Angela Duckworth gave a simple yet beautiful definition of Grit. She said, “Working on something you care about so much that you’re willing to stay loyal to it… It’s doing what you love, not falling in love but staying in love.” She further laid down below two equations that takes a person from talent to achievement:
Talent x Effort = Skill. Skill x Effort = Achievement.
She added, “When you consider individuals in identical circumstances, what each achieves depends on just two things, talent and effort. Talent – how fast we improve the skill – absolutely matters. But effort factors into the calculations twice, not once. Effort builds skill. At the very same time, effort makes skill productive.”
‘Gradatim Ferociter’ when translated from Latin means ‘Step by Step, Ferociously.’ Life is hard and we all gets lumps and bumps but only when we stick to something and add extra to ordinary will it become an extraordinary. It was GRIT that made sick Jordan to stick and play to perform his best. He played not because he had to but because he wanted to. It’s always GRIT that makes the difference between a history reader and a history maker. Talent is not a destiny. We don’t have to be the smartest person in the room but only when we have GRIT as part of our DNA can we separate the Wheat from the Chaff.
Walt Disney once told all his cast member, “Keep this same smile on people’s faces when they leave the park as when they entered.” Starting a job with a smile is easy, but keeping with the pace till the end with the same smile is what it takes to be a winner. Question is not, “Will You Win?” Question is, “Are you prepared to do consistently, what it takes you to win?” Retreating with tail between our legs is not for you and me.