After reading Angela Duckworth’s book on Grit, I started to find ways to build grit up again. I love the book because she is so asian and I can 100% relate to everything she says.
Her thesis on grit is that:
- Talent x Effort = Skill
- Skill x Effort = Achievement
So honestly, achieve is twice the amount of effort required than talent. It is about having passion and perseverance for long-term goals. It is about maintaining that drive despite all the shit you’ve encountered, whilst getting to the destination.
It’s perhaps how I manage to stay so “positive and radiant” all these years, and not allow society to build too much cynicism in me. It’s not easy, for sure. There are bullshit days and there are happy ones.
When you have a long-term goal, it’s easier to ignore the short-term suffering and bullshit. You know that they are simply part of the process of getting there. So it becomes easier. That’s not the difficult part.
The difficult part is how do we keep pushing through and build that discipline. I realised I needed to build on the “consistency of effort”, aka discipline. I have my sight on the right place, just lacking the discipline to input the effort.
So I started finding ways to build that discipline. Or grit. Or whatever you call it, to get me to new heights. There’s where I found intermittent fasting.
Building Grit with Intermittent Fasting
I want to build discipline
I came across intermittent fasting one night. People have told me about it before, but I never really read into it. So I started reading that night.
Sure, there are many other scientific reasons why I chose intermittent fasting as my method to build discipline.
- Humans are evolutionary creatures. Our environment has evolved so much faster than our DNA. When we see food, we are inclined to eat. As hunters and gathers, we did not always have food. Moving on, we ate 3 meals a day to ensure we have sufficient energy throughout. But life has changed, standards of living increased and so has availability of food. We need not eat so much, so often anymore. Our DNA is not designed for this indulgence. So I’m reducing my food intake, to be aligned with my body’s process.
- That means reducing the food I eat. And that reduces the demand of food. And that could help the world a little, if I consume just a little less. Skipping 1 meal a day for a year is the same as not eating for 17 days. That reduction in consumption might be something good for our environment.
- Losing weight this way seems fun and easy. Why not try it.
Whilst trying it out, I learnt that some form of discipline and habit is being built! And I love it.
For example, I feel like eating something. But I know I have to be disciplined to follow my own rules. It’s a heart vs head situation. Sometimes the bullshit heart wins, with a lack of discipline. With practice, my head started to win more often!
It also becomes easier to focus on the tasks on hand than giving into something short-term and sinful. It reminds me of the bigger picture and greater goal. Unconsciously, I was building up discipline!
Endurance. Staying in momentum. Priorities.
It reminded me that I am more than I appear to be. I have all of the world’s power and strength inside of me. When something needs to be done, I have the discipline, grit and perseverance to get through it.
It also reminded me that the secret to building self discipline is about being consistent with the momentum. Baby step in the right direction every day. And when in doubt, keep going. Silence the distraction and keep the goal in focus.
I’m also reminded that enlightened people are priority driven. And that is the secret of time mastery. When we have our priorities in check, it’s easier to give up short-term fun for long-term goals.