August 2019
O N   T H E   M O V E
Fall seven, rise eight.
Happy August 1st, friends. As per usual, it's been a while since you last heard from me but I'm glad we're talking now. The last time I checked in I was on "a little journey of self-improvement". I'm happy to report that nothing's changed; I've just given my journey a name.  Operation: Get Gritty. I first became obsessed with the idea of becoming the grittiest version of myself in early June. Maybe it was realizing that I'd be starting medical school in the Fall. Maybe it was realizing that there would be no time like this summer. Maybe it was Maybelline.

Either way, my mind was made up and I was off to figure out how to increase my mental strength, tap into my tenacity, and GET GRITTIER. Now I'm reading more, procrastinating less, and chanting "BE GRITTY" during the final moments of any task I desperately want to quit (push-ups and paperwork included).

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger... right?

Honestly, the single biggest thing I've learned about grit and hardship in the past couple of months is that it's 1000x more nuanced than the 7 words above suggest. In fact, children and adolescents who "suffer without control" have a lot of trouble developing grit and perseverance... and I don't need a scientist to tell me why. 

 the things that don't kill us crush us.

People experience crappy things all the time. I grew up in a neighborhood where people experienced crappy things everyday. But the crappy things that really crush us are the things we feel we have no control over. I think back to my elementary classmates who said things like they weren't "math people" or "made for school" and I wish that someone had told them that math and school were meant to be challenging and they'd get through it. I wish the "smart kids" weren't praised for being so "naturally smart". I wish we'd all been raised in a world that embraced the kind of growth mindset that tells you and me and everyone that we are capable of getting there... wherever there might be... with help and hard work.

I wish everyone had the opportunities I had to grow my grit.
When a medical school interviewer asked me what I attributed my success to I told them my tenacity. Now that I've given it some thought, I wish I would've said, "the opportunities and circumstances and teachers and books and movies that made me feel like I was in control of my life and that my actions and efforts mattered because these things taught me to be tenacious".

Duckworth (author of Grit) raises her kids using a "one hard thing" rule. It comes in three parts: everyone has to do one hard thing, you can only quit when a natural stopping point arrives (not when the going gets tough), and you get to pick your hard thing. Her reason for the rule is this: our grit grows when we stick with our
 hard things because we teach ourselves that we are capable of getting through them and succeeding in spite of them.

I decided on a hard thing when I was very young... and I had a math teacher who didn't let me quit when I wanted to quit... and the result is my now-deeply-held belief that I can get through a n y t h i n g.
Every day this month I'm doing the one thing at the gym that I've never been able to do: pull-ups. I want YOU to do one hard thing too. Our future endeavors will thank us. Let's get gritty.

All love always,

P.S. Orientation starts on August 11th. I'M GONNA BE A FIRST-YEAR MEDICAL STUDENT!

P.P.S. You can read more about #OpGetGritty and some of the ways I've been preparing for my first year in
my latest blog post.

P.P.P.S. I started a
YouTube channel. Subscribe if you love me. Like & comment if you're the MVP.

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Mez On The Move · Mez On The Move · New York, NY 10039 · USA

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