Community//

“To develop Grit, assign yourself reasonable blocks of time and energy to deal with an issue” With Phil Laboon and Wynter Sommers

Assign yourself reasonable blocks of time and energy to deal with an issue. One day I realized I was expecting too much to be done on insufficient technology which overloaded my computer, causing it to fully crash. I felt like throwing entire machine out the window, but instead took it in to be repaired. At […]


Assign yourself reasonable blocks of time and energy to deal with an issue. One day I realized I was expecting too much to be done on insufficient technology which overloaded my computer, causing it to fully crash. I felt like throwing entire machine out the window, but instead took it in to be repaired. At first I saw these exhausting time constraints as roadblocks to slow me down, but then I realized it was just another annoyance which would test my determination to keep going.


I had the pleasure to interview Wynter Sommers. Wynter is synonymous with fine manners, good citizenship, and principles of making the right wise choice in life. With a PhD in Education and successful classroom experience with both gifted and challenged students, she has created a blended series of new literary classics which augment standard classroom curricula by introducing novelettes with relatable characters who make difficult choices, but always get rewarded for the making the wise decision.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what events have drawn you to this specific career path

It appeared to be so natural that all the memories of students who shared their concerns and victories in the classroom would develop into a series of hopeful stories which encourage others to be the best they can be. That is why I started to write.

The story of actually teaching students and watching them respond to the learning process definitely contributed to the development of these memories.

Can you share your story of Grit and Success? First can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

Well, simply getting the basics, such as computers, required economic commitment which was challenging on a teacher’s salary. Being determined to set out a daily schedule in which I would be able to address the issues brought up by each plot was daunting. When I got my first computer, I knew nothing about how to work with it. I should have taken classes to overcome the obstacle of new unfamiliar technology. Once I did that, one problem was solved.

Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

What motivated me to move forward with this author-endeavor was to address the active curiosity I saw in children I was teaching. They longed for adventure and problem solving challenges which were wholesome and encouraging. I also saw that they truly appreciated the historical context of circumstances which have arisen in our rich history.

So how did Grit lead to your eventual success? How did Grit turn things around?

Grit means sticking with something which demonstrates productive evidence. Students hearing my stories were filled with questions which propelled me to provide novel responses.

I had to work on these stories because coming to satisfying solutions in a way that would reach these students was very difficult.

Sitting and thinking is not easy.

So, how are things going today? 🙂

Daisy’s Adventures, which is a set of experiences described in nine novelettes, addresses issues and concerns brought up by children who were listening to the stories. Even now, I get more ideas which will translate into future plot-lines.

Based on your experience, can you share 5 pieces of advice about how one can develop Grit? (Please share a story or example for each)

All I can do is share what I myself have experienced.

1. Failure is part of the learning effort. Think about why it failed. Search for a useful constructive alternative solution.

When I started writing the first book it took me a week to figure out how to integrate the main character into the setting. I read and talked to people and… I actually wrote the first draft back in the 1980’s. It definitely was imperfect, so I put it in a drawer and would revisit it, knowing it wasn’t quite right. But, rather than abandon it, I came back to improve it. Now it is in print as part of a series.

2. Checking in with people whose opinions you respect is a step in moving forward. I often read bits and pieces of my material to people I trust. They might offer a personal experience of theirs which would place the issue at hand in a new light.

3. Assign yourself reasonable blocks of time and energy to deal with an issue.

One day I realized I was expecting too much to be done on insufficient technology which overloaded my computer, causing it to fully crash. I felt like throwing entire machine out the window, but instead took it in to be repaired. At first I saw these exhausting time constraints as roadblocks to slow me down, but then I realized it was just another annoyance which would test my determination to keep going.

4. Avoid distractions. Don’t over estimate what can be done. Be realistic.

 Sometimes it is too easy to become absorbed in the political mayhem which frequently explodes across our communication systems. I have to force myself to look away and get busy.

5. Be willing to share what you have learned with somebody who has less experience than you. Other people have been kind to me. I try to return the help.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped you when things were tough? Can you share a story about that?

My husband has always been very supportive and encouraging. When I would become fatigued, he would encourage me to write just one more page before putting it away for the day.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

By promoting messages such as in the novelettes of Daisy’s Adventures which define and describe positive productive solutions to a conundrum, I can share specifics in dealing with an issue that may otherwise be distressing.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Yes. I am going deeper into developing more books to target other age groups with possible solutions to issues that are currently daunting.

What advice would you give to other executives or founders to help their employees to thrive?

First and foremost, treat everyone with respect. We can disagree and provide alternative solutions to problems as long as all of us come into the discussion with earnest desire to solve the problem.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

May I disagree with your first assumption. We really do not know how many people we influence as we move through our lives. That is why it is so important to search for the constructive way to solve a problem rather than merely do what feels satisfying at a particular moment.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Any donkey can kick down a barn, but it takes a skilled artisan to construct one.

This emphasizes the importance of providing positive and thoughtful contributions toward reaching a solution.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Actually, I keep a low profile as I want my work to stand for itself.

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

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