What is the Grit in Your Oyster?

Grit in the Oyster.png

Daniel Ek, the Swedish entrepreneur and technologist best known as the co-founder of Spotify, recently tweeted “I can't think of anyone I admire who isn't fueled by self-doubt. It's an essential ingredient. It's the grit in the oyster. It's the passion, perseverance, and stamina that we must channel in order to stick with our dreams until they become a reality.” 

I love the picture that paints of an oyster, wrapping an irritation in layers of protection until the pearl is created.  Without the pain, you don’t get the pearl.  Come to find out, oysters are not self-motivated.  And the same may be true for us.  It’s self-doubt, not confidence that is the essential ingredient.

Made me wonder what other seemingly negative emotions might actually motivate great success, fueling you to take action, approach problems differently, or creatively seek alternatives.  It is said that necessity (ie, need, want) is the mother of invention.  The same could be set about a great number of other negative things.  Here are several that you might agree have played a role in your own achievement, either in yourself or others:

-        Pain (as opposed to comfort)

-        People pleasing (as opposed to independence)

-        Anxiety (as opposed to calm)

-        Noise (as opposed to quiet)

-        Hunger (as opposed to being satisfied)

-        Close-mindedness (as opposed to openness)

-        Complexity (as opposed to simplicity)

-        Slowness (as opposed to speed)

-        Rigidity (as opposed to flexibility)

-        Fear (as opposed to trust)

-        Doubt (as opposed to certainty)

-        Exclusion (rather than involvement)

-        Discontent (rather than contentment)

Each of us have our own internal motivations.  The ones above are often dismissed or rejected as being entirely negative, when you encounter them in yourself or others, but they can be the grit in the oyster that helps you achieve success.  But only if you learn how to harness their lessons, with stamina and perseverance, all the way to the harvest. 

This article was originally published on LInkedIn Pulse.