I’ve got one word for you –
Besides the fact that it’s really fun saying out loud (I dare you to try right now), it’s such an amazing word because of what it means and stands for!
“Sisu is a Finnish concept described as stoic determination, tenacity of purpose, grit, bravery, resilience, and hardiness…. It is generally considered not to have a literal equivalent in English.” – Wikipedia
Here’s my equivalent, and how I think we can embody Sisu and actually practice it in life to realize our dreams and become our best selves!
I often describe the framework of Seizing Your Passion as a 5-point circle, where each of the 5 points are interconnected, and directly related to the other; where one leads to another and back again, in a continuous, evolving, and cyclical process (kind of like a lot of things in life).
The 5 points are: Self – Mindset – Action – Overcome – Success
But it’s not linear like that, the way I have to write it out. It’s an ongoing circle, and one point feeds and leads to the other and back the other way again, all interrelated and interconnected in a cyclical pattern.
Here’s a quick pic of what I mean (please forgive my less than stellar drawing skills :-)).
The top of the circle is Self because Socrates was right when he said, “Know thyself.” The starting point always has to be YOU!
Like everything else in life, realizing your dreams, becoming your best, and achieving your goals always starts with YOU, your SELF! It’s from there that everything else flows, and what all the other points on that circle are first based on.
Knowing yourself, understanding yourself, loving yourself, and believing in yourself!!
This has everything to do with self-awareness, really knowing who you are, what you love, what you want; your values, your beliefs, and living your truth based on that, versus living according to other people’s beliefs and expectations.
And, it has everything to do with trusting yourself, forgiving yourself, being authentic, and being accountable to yourself in order to do that. And then ultimately, it’s about how you define, for yourself, what “success” is (which is where and why the last point on that circle connects back to the Self and the other way again).
The next point is Mindset because how you choose to see the world, how you think about things, and your perspective on everything, dictates your behaviors, actions, and reactions to everything!!! This has everything to do with your psychology and your belief systems.
Do you believe in miracles? Do you believe in making the impossible possible? Do you believe you can always learn more, grow more, and become more? Do you live for today, for yesterday, or for tomorrow?
Do you appreciate all that you have and all that you’ve accomplished already, without that taking away from the fact that you still want to strive for more? Do you believe there’s always a lesson to be learned from the challenges and “failures” you face in life?
Do you believe you can accomplish pretty much anything you put your mind to?
Again, all these “Mindset questions” tie back to the Self point – believing in yourself, your values, your beliefs – and, they also naturally lead to the next point, which is…
Because again, your Mindset dictates your behaviors, your Actions, and reactions to everything!
You know that believing in something, while crucial and necessary, on its own is not enough to make it happen. You need to actually do something. To achieve results, to move forward, and to progress, you need to take action.
But, the key is taking inspired action that is purposefully connected and directly related to your Self, your Mindset, and ultimately to the Success you want to achieve. Right?
Otherwise, it’s just doing stuff with no meaning, no joy, no purpose, and basically getting trapped in the busyness of being busy. (Not particularly fun or fulfilling, and definitely NOT what Seize Your Passion and living life to the fullest is about).
But, you also know that when you do take action, you’re inevitably going to stumble, fall, and hit some major roadblocks. Which is exactly where the inspired action – the actions you take that have a solid foundation of Self and Mindset already stacked under them – comes in to play!
AND, it’s where Sisu gets to take the lead!!!! So that you can overcome those challenges and roadblocks.
How you respond, react, and move past, over, under, or through those roadblocks so you can continue to take inspired action despite them (and sometimes because of them), that’s exactly how you Overcome them.
Having the sisu, the grit, the resilience, the perseverance, and the determination to do that because you have all the other elements of Self, Mindset, and Action already in place!
The elements of knowing yourself, believing in yourself, and trusting yourself. Of knowing that you can learn and grow from this, believing that you can overcome this, and trusting that the best is yet to come.
Of knowing that every choice, behavior, action, and reaction you take has a direct causal effect on everything else, that your actions make a difference, that your goals can be achieved one action step at a time, and knowing what types of actions you’re going to take because of that.
Of trusting, believing, and knowing that this too shall pass, that you’ll come out on the other side – better, stronger, wiser, and truer for it!!!
Which will lead you to…
If you don’t know where you want to go, or what that even looks like, then you’re not going to get there.
The word “success” really has so many different meanings and definitions to each and every one of us, if we allow it to. The problem is, most of us confine ourselves to adopt without question the most prevalent, popular, and accepted definitions of it, without even giving ourselves the opportunity to truly define it for ourselves.
It’s precisely why so many of us do everything “right”, everything we’re supposed to do, and everything we’ve been taught will bring us that accepted generic definition of success.
We accomplish so much, we achieve and acquire a lot, and yet –why do so many of us so often feel empty, drained, stressed, anxious, unhappy, and sometimes just plain miserable – despite all that???
The answer isn’t because that’s life, and life sucks. And it’s definitely NOT because you’re not good enough and you suck (though that’s typically the Mindset most of us tend to go to).
I think the answer has a lot to do with this
point of Success on that circle, and how it relates back, and is founded upon,
every other point too.
I think the answer is often because we haven’t allowed ourselves (and honored ourselves by doing so) to truly tap into our Self, our Mindset, our Actions, and how we Overcome shit, to know how we define what Success really even is, for us!
And, by the way, your definition may actually end up being identical or at least very similar to the generally held one. And that’s totally fine and great (not that you need me to approve it for you).
The difference though, is that you’ll know
that it’s yours! It’ll be based on your Self, and
everything that flows from that – your truth, your values, your beliefs, your actions, your grit, your resilience,
and your Sisu!
It’ll be based on your Self, your Mindset, your Action, how you Overcome stuff, and your Success!
So, you’ll feel that your entire life – everything you do, your perspective, your achievements, your mistakes, and your wins – match up with that definition.
And because of that, you’ll feel less of the anxious, tired, depressed, and unfulfilled feelings, and way more of the excited, impassioned, determined, joyful, confident, empowered, inspired, and SISU feelings instead!
And that, my friend, is what Seizing Your Passion is all about. That’s what Sisu is about. And, that’s what life is about!!!!
So, go forth with Sisu, my friend. Do more of what you love. Be more of who you love. Seize Your Passion!