Grit!!

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by boneyguy, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I had grit, but I started bathing regularly and most of it went away.

    I am 291 days from retirement. It is an order of magnitude more difficult to keep my mind on my work now, I expect it to get tougher but I have my native perseverance. It is also extremely difficult to keep the S-eating grin off my face when I am confronted with daily-grind issues. :D Soon...not my problem, man!
     
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  2. Dean James

    Dean James Tele-Meister

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    For many years, some colleagues / friends & I have produced an annual art show. For the first one I did a big airbrushed picture. A beautiful graded sky took up the top half, going from dark midnight blue at the top through many paler shades of blue to red, orange, yellow sunset colors at the bottom. It came out well, I thought.

    To do that with an airbrush you laboriously go back & forth, keeping the airbrush in motion as you carefully extend your stroke well past both sides of the image, so the heavier startup paint–puffs don’t build up along the edges.

    Say it takes thirty horizontal strokes to fill the height of the area. You do those, resulting in a smooth, even, delicate light coat of color. You then do the same thing again, starting from the top, but only twenty–nine strokes this time. Then twenty–eight, twenty–seven, etc. You need to resist the impulse to edit or control. Just do it steadily & evenly by the numbers. The parts you cover multiple times get darker, fading down evenly to the very palest edge at the bottom, which has only been painted over once.

    I had the picture on an easel, protected by a big flap of paper hanging over it, taped along the top. Finished for the day, I took a shower, enjoyed another look, then left to do some errands. I got back & lifted the flap for another look. Running right down the middle of my airbrushed sky was long, dribbly line of paint melted by water. I guess a post–shower drop had flown off my hair. The paint was a product called Dr Martin’s Dyes, meant for airbrushes. It thins with water — no matter how the water is applied.

    This was a couple few days before the show. I had been working for months on it & was almost done. I flipped out, then just started over. It was not a question of bravely, gamely getting back on the horse who throws you; it was that I simply had too much momentum pushing from behind for me to be able to stop. I recreated the whole thing in 36–48 hours.

    The drawing & planning had already been done, so all I had to do was re–perform the actual physical painting. Still, it was quite an experience. I think I worked at least the final 24 hours straight through. I remember late at night, the old western movie Shane on TV, me just automatically functioning. Coffee & tobacco. I don’t know if it came out better the second time or not, but I finished about four hours before the show opened. Talk about grit, I felt pretty darn gritty at the opening.

    One of my roommates was a photographer. I asked him to take a color transparency of the picture with his 4x5 view camera. One day when I was at work, he took it off the wall, opened the frame, pulled out the painting & shot the photo. It came out well.

    He reassembled the frame & hung it back up. It stayed there a couple days until something happened; the frame came apart, or the wire hanging it off the hooks slipped, something. The whole thing crashed down, breaking the glass & gouging a deep, ragged dig right across my second version of that sky.

    This time I took what seemed to be Life’s advice, taped the picture up inside a couple other big boards, & stored it away. I haven’t looked at it since, over thirty years.

    I completely agree with the many stories of grit offered here. As the I Ching says, "perseverance furthers." (Surely the politest way of saying "Quit complaining & get to work.") It is also important to know when to quit.
     
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  3. Shuster

    Shuster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Cool story,,,,

    Once upon a time, there was a donkey.

    It was a stupid, stubborn old donkey and even the farmer who owned it didn’t like him.

    The farmer owned a large property and one day he heard in the distance the loud, distinctive “eye-ore, eye-ore” of the donkey. He wondered what the stupid donkey had done now, so he looked all over his property until at last he found the animal at the bottom of an old abandoned well.

    Exasperated, the farmer rang his neighbours and asked them each to bring a shovel. He’d had enough of the stupid donkey, so he had decided to bury it in the well.

    All of his friends came over and together they started to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey protested loudly, braying with all of his might, but after about 10 minutes, he stopped.

    The farmers kept shovelling.

    After a while, someone decided to have a look into the well to see what had happened to the donkey. What he saw astonished him.

    Instead of being buried, the donkey would dodge the incoming dirt, standing on the ever-increasing mound.

    Now the mission changed and the farmers went from trying to bury the donkey to trying to save him, shovelling more and more dirt into the abandoned well until he jumped out of the top victorious.

    Upon his release, the farmers all dropped their shovels and applauded the old stubborn beast with a newfound admiration.

    There are times in life when it seems as though we are that donkey. Trapped and feeling as though life is trying to bury us. Don’t go under, but continue to find a way to overcome your challenges one at a time until you too emerge victorious.
     
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  4. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    WOW!! I'm so impressed with these stories guys.....very moving stuff!! Thanks for sharing....this is far more than I had hoped for. I guess I have some skin in this game because I'm personally trying to dig deep right now to overcome some personal stuff and I'm struggling to find the 'grit'. This is so inspiring. Some of you guys have been to the edge of hell and back.....thanks to everyone for persevering....and congratulations!!!
     
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  5. Dean James

    Dean James Tele-Meister

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    Surely you jest! (I hope.)

    You see a lot of comments on this case along the lines of "So? That's how the system works." "So? They earned the money, they can spend it as they wish." "So? Wouldn't you, if you could?"

    Well no, I wouldn't. Catdaddy's post obliquely illustrates what's wrong with the attitudes expressed in those comments. It's a shamelessly perfect example of a thing that really screws up life on Earth, an example of how focus on the essentially meaningless end product —little Jimmy's diploma— completely ignores & devalues what the end product supposedly represents — little Jimmy's education, which may or may not exist. It's a perfect example of un–grit.

    It's profoundly depressing, the number of people who can't even begin to conceive of what is wrong about this, & how offensive it is to anyone who ever worked for even just an honest hour toward a goal.
     
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  6. Nubs

    Nubs Tele-Afflicted

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    <------------ No one has more Grit than that guy over there
     
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  7. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    In my searching for help and guidance I've come across a book which contains an idea I like very much....I haven't read the book mind you....

    The idea put forth is something called AQ....Adversity Quotient.....the term obviously borrowed from IQ. So what AQ refers to, of course, is a person's ability to respond positively and resourcefully to adversity. Grit! Persistence! etc. But I think it's got to be more than just persistence....I would say it's something more like intelligent persistence. I've seen people be incredibly persistence about something but there wasn't much logic or intelligence applied to the persistence so even with loads of motivation and persistence their efforts were futile.

    Again, thanks for all the incredible examples of intelligent persistence from you guys. Much appreciated!!
     
  8. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Lucky for the Donkey, the farmer didn't have a Cat 966F loader handy. :D
     
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  9. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    And a good story to point out the important difference between having 'grit' and being buried under grit.....
     
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  10. chulaivet1966

    chulaivet1966 Tele-Afflicted

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    Interesting topic....good submissions here.

    My life experiences demanding the 'grit' to persevere and overcome occurred a long time ago and didn't happen in this country.
    It was in a land far, far away and those experiences made me the man I am today. (hold the jokes :))

    Sorry, no specifics as it could mistakenly be interpreted as self exalting by those that do not know me.

    Some good submissions here.....and a couple are very sad. ( IE: post #20 - bftfender 2) )

    Carry on......keep them coming for others to learn from.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
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  11. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yes....I think most, if not all, of us at times can use some inspiration and examples of 'digging deep' inside to meet challenges in our lives. Some challenges we ask for (education, work ) some we don't (death of a loved one, mental health issues) BUT they all require resourcefulness and determination to overcome....or make peace with.

    So, yes, please, let's hear more of these stories!!
     
  12. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    My wife has grit.

    I have some, too, but nothing like her.

    Her mother died giving birth to her. Her father then handed her to his in-laws, saying, “I’m not gonna raise a girl...take her two (half) brothers, too—they aren’t my kids.” She didn’t meet said sperm donor until she was 16, and remains unimpressed to this day.

    Her mom (grandmother) had a massive stroke when my wife was in kindergarten, rendering her speechless and unable to do many things she could do previously.

    My wife’s aunt and uncle stepped up to help, but the uncle was a severe alcoholic, and their children (14 and 13 years my wife’s senior) were both drug users and abusive to the people around them. The boy cousin is a severe addict and a rapist/molester and has been in and out of prison since he was 17 (now in his 60’s), and it’s all somebody else’s fault (note sarcasm font). The girl cousin (also now in her 60’s) has a similar practice of blaming everyone else and requiring everyone to pull her out of the holes and traps she creates for herself.

    ...so imagine a painfully shy 6-year-old being thrust into THAT kind disfunction.

    Oh, and then one of her relatives felt the need to tell her that “mama and papa” weren’t her real parents and that she killed her mother...my future wife was 8, said relative was an adult...lemme correct that, a cruel adult.

    Nobody would know these things unless you dig deep, because she’s very balanced person.

    We got married in 1993. We suffered multiple personal tragedies shortly afterwards—over 10 family members and friends died, all in quick succession.

    When we first got married, we were making great money (for a young couple).

    She quit her job to take care of her mother (grandmother), who was stricken with cancer...no problem. We could easily live on my salary...and three months to the day she quit, I got laid off due to politics within the company (this was my first corporate job and I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to always be forthright and truthful when dealing with ambitious and vindictive coworkers).

    It got to the point that groceries weren’t always a given...seriously—sometimes we really weren’t sure about what we were going to eat the next day.

    We managed to hold onto the house (which I had bought before we got married) and a few personal possessions, but any and all material possessions were on the chopping block; our main (financial) focus was “Don’t lose the house and don’t declare bankruptcy.”

    I worked three jobs and took on odd jobs for extra money. She worked two, besides taking care of her mom/grandmother, who was dying of cancer.

    I sold a sizable vinyl LP collection as well as 90% of my guitar/bass/amp herd. (I only managed to hold onto a couple of guitars and amps because we started climbing out of that hole—otherwise, my beloved Fiesta Red Stratocaster and Vibroverb would have been next, because I could get the most money out of them).

    Most people didn’t know the situation, because we never said anything to anyone (stiff upper lip). My brother accused me of being a tightwad/miser because I wouldn’t join in his financial schemes (all of which failed), and I figured he didn’t deserve an explanation if he was going to be a Biblical Male Donkey...his wife created further distance between us, and I missed a good portion of my niece and nephews childhoods. I lament this.

    I got sober in 1998, after a spectacular 14-year drinking career...and she forgave me for the crap I put her through during some of those years (the first five years of our marriage).

    We were blessed with a child 8 years into our marriage, after many, many challenges to conceive and a couple of miscarriages. People stupidly say, “Yeah, but at least you had fun trying!” But that’s not true—the emotional impact of those miscarriages and the inability to conceive hurt her psyche greatly.

    My wife and I both had severe health problems in our 30’s; mine reduced my quality of life, hers nearly killed her. We survived, (relatively) intact, but she has some pretty strong emotional fears based on her near-death days, and both of us have (lowered) physical abilities as a side effect.

    Along the way, we found out that my wife (physically) shouldn’t have been able to conceive and definitely shouldn’t have been able to carry a baby to term. Our daughter truly is a billion-to-one miracle—she shouldn’t have been able to be born.

    Instead of going for child #2 (and maybe #3) as we had planned, we got a fur baby, a Useless Terrier who thinks he is our son.

    We had another bad financial situation—I got laid off a couple of times, bounced around in a few jobs, went back to college and graduated in 2012 (whole working a full-time job and doing 20-30 hours of volunteer work each month!).

    Now, my wife is taking care of her aunt and uncle (who also got sober years ago, but the damage was done), both of whom have dementia and one of whom is newly confined to a wheelchair.

    Fur Baby is getting old (16 in human years), and that adds stress...we know he’s headed toward the bottom of the hill that he crested quite a while ago.

    Our miracle child is almost 18 and wonderful and beautiful, but not without problems, including a form of lupus.
    She also had some “friends” who recently turned our world upside down with some evil (and proven) mendacity. Those “friends” parents, who were ostensibly my friends, added vitriol to the situation by refusing to be honest with themselves or with my wife and I, so our social circle changed significantly.

    But she’s got her mom’s grit and faith. She is heaping fiery coals on them by being forgiving and kind.

    I’m the one who’s angry.

    But we’re going to make it.

     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  13. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Feisty Red!......that's quite an inspirational story my friend.....good for you guys to keep going and being resourceful and powerful enough to meet all those challenges in ways that required huge amounts of determination.....GRIT!! And your wife and daughter are beautiful and their personalities shine through their eyes.....and yours too! Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
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  14. kingvox

    kingvox Tele-Meister

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    Incredible stories. Great thread!

    I really wish the best for all of you. It's hard reading about some of these struggles and I really wish that all of you keep persisting and resolve these situations. For the stories where things did get resolved, that's extremely uplifting.

    This may seem off topic, but after reading a bunch of these stories, I want to mention the book, "When I Say No I Feel Guilty."

    It's a book about assertiveness training, and one of the techniques is called "Broken record," which is all about persistence. You literally just repeat what it is you want over and over again, which prevents people from successfully manipulating you into giving in or doing what they want. For example: "I understand how you feel, but I want (fill in the blank). I want a refund, I want my furniture reupholstered," etc.

    You keep coming back to it, just like when you're playing bass or guitar and you gotta keep coming back to the root note every so often to maintain the feel of the song.

    It's a great book, and is a great reminder that persistence applies equally to uncomfortable dealings with other people, i.e. interpersonal conflict. Whether it's dealing with stubborn doctors or lawyers or insurance companies -- or friends and family -- persistence is extremely important.

    Many, many people, myself included, tend to back down and withdraw after the first "No." And many people, myself included, tend to give up in the face of the slightest criticism or personal attack.

    Persisting through criticism is a huge one. Being able to be yourself in the world, and accept that not everyone is going to like you, and as a matter of fact, a fair amount of people will dislike you. But if you don't open yourself up to being disliked, you also don't open yourself up to being truly loved.

    Persistently being yourself and following your goals and visions, regardless of the criticism or blowback you face...that is where the value of persistence really kicks in.

    ---------------------------------------------------

    My updated story of persistence for today: yesterday I excitedly showed someone my new MIDI drum pad. I was so excited to play and learn. He said it was stupid, and it was just dumb to think I was playing "drums" with my fingers on a MIDI pad controller, and then laughed, and again repeated that it was just ridiculous and stupid.

    I was devastated. I guess I still really am that sensitive to criticism. And I mean devastated. I did some work on myself for an hour or two later that night, and then was back at practicing on the drum pad.

    It took a lot of persistence to do it. I really felt completely gutted and like a complete and utter idiot for enjoying this new instrument, because it didn't meet this particular person's standards as "real." It was so bad that even picking up my guitar and playing it, I just felt like an idiot. I couldn't do anything. Inspiration gone. That feeling of "I'm stupid" just swirled around in my head and permeated every single thought and memory I had. I felt especially stupid that I got excited, and then thought I should just never share anything again with someone if I'm excited about it, because I'll just look stupid. But after working on myself, I took myself out of the state of feeling stupid, idiotic, and awful, to practicing again, and enjoying myself.


    -----------------------------------------------------------

    How often do people give up over stupid things like that? A mean comment or criticism from just one person?

    We all hear how celebrity authors and athletes were rejected and faced failure dozens or hundreds of times. We hear it so much that maybe we become desensitized to it, and forget what the reality of that is really, truly like. It takes a LOT to build a thick skin. Just like callouses from playing guitar, you have to face the discomfort over and over and over again in order to adapt.
     
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  15. koen

    koen Friend of Leo's

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    Grits, yum!
     
  16. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hey man, I really appreciate your voice in all these stories....your honesty about your challenges and your courage in facing them is amazing!! Thank you.

    I totally understand your feelings about criticism.....I think a lot of people have a similar reaction as you describe.....it's not unusual. I know it can get to me sometimes....and sometimes it takes me a while to admit to myself or fully realize how I've allowed something to hurt me. The thing is, IMO, you did exactly the right thing. You realized how you were really feeling and then you had the skills to analyze it and then change it.....that's awesome.
     
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  17. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    Re: the pendejo that called you “Stupid” for doing something you enjoy...

    When I first started playing guitar, I wasn’t very good. (To be honest, I’m just kinda “ok” now, unless it is something I wrote...I digress...)

    But I kept on persisting, asking some guys that played to show me licks and riffs and chord patterns; they’d insult me and sometimes got me down.
    Later I started playing harmonica, at which I became very proficient very quickly—as in, “Whoa, I could make a living doing this...” proficient; I was creative, too, so I could elevate whatever we were playing.
    So some of the jerks that were harsh on my guitar efforts started hammering me, “Give away your guitars, you suck—just play harp and sing.”

    But two things struck me—guitar was a challenge, and I liked a challenge and more importantly, none of those pendejos could write or sing their way out of a paper bag.

    I started hammering them, “Then either show me how to play your cover song that you find so important or write me something worth a crap! Half the songs I’m playing—the ones you think is some old obscure tune you’ve never heard—is something I wrote—which is something you can’t do! Put up or
    shut up, jack*ss!”
     
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  18. chulaivet1966

    chulaivet1966 Tele-Afflicted

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    Big chuckle.....

    TD2.....you can make it.
    That's less than a year and if you've gotten this far without going total bat feces know the 'retirement' community will welcome you.
    Picture the sad, forlorn faces of co-workers who will see you ride off into the sunset for the last time.
    No more dull, obligatory office parties for you weed hopper. :)

    (sidebar: I retired 12/26/10 and this was finished the following week. Dedicated to those of us lucky enough to experience the glee of retirement. https://www.soundclick.com/html5/v4/player.cfm?songID=12929725 I never thought I'd live long enough....but, here I am)

    Back to topic.....
     
  19. kingofdogs1950

    kingofdogs1950 Tele-Holic

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    Good stories, all.
    I was going to relate how I had to walk seven miles in the snow to school. Up hill both ways.
    Maybe I won't.
    Still, after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes forty seven years ago life has at times been difficult. I've added a wealth of ailments since then but, well, I'm not quite dead yet.

    Mark
     
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  20. P-Nutz

    P-Nutz Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    ... you might get what you’re after ...

    -D. Byrne
     
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