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Sorta Random Sunday: Enthusiasm vs. Endurance

One of my favorite books is Grit by Angela Duckworth. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend that you do. Well, for this Sorta Random Sunday post, I want to touch on an important concept touched on by Dr. Duckworth in Grit, the important difference between Enthusiasm and Endurance for Achievers.

The reason I am choosing to talk about this right now is twofold:

  1. I think it makes a lot of sense and is particularly applicable to the start of a New Year when resolutions and the like are being made, and
  2. Selenid brought this quote back to my attention recently when I was struggling with something…

enthusiasm endurance

“Enthusiasm is common, Endurance is rare.”

— Angela Duckworth

To me, this is such a simple but powerful statement that applies to so much, maybe everything in life.

Everybody has goals…

…But not everyone achieves them.

Everyone has enthusiasm for their goals…but few have the endurance to follow the through and achieve them.

And that is the key to remember.

We will all struggle to reach our goals. No worthwhile goal is easy or short term. We need to create the big picture in our head and follow it, through ups and downs.

So, when you feel frustrated or like you are not making enough progress or have hit a plateau…in anything that you are doing!…remember this…enthusiasm is common, endurance is rare. And keep plugging on!

The importance of why

This also goes back to me repeating over and over the importance of having a “big why.”

You’ll remember that your big why is the reason why you want to achieve a goal. It can be any goal but often in the context of this blog that goal is financial freedom.

This big why is the thing that gives you your endurance. It reminds you why you are doing what you are doing and how you are doing it. And it’s most important during times of struggle, to pull you through!

So, if you don’t have a big why for any of your goals, take some time and really think about why you are doing it. And then write it down to remind yourself!

A few quick examples from my life…

  1. This blog. Obviously when I started this blog, nobody was reading it. But I knew why I was doing it – to share my story and help others improve their financial well-being – and made it a goal to keep going for at least a year, even if no one was reading. Well, eventually people started reading. And now, even knowing one person may relate or be helped by my financial ups and downs keeps me going to no end!
  2. My journey to financial freedom. There are a lot of times on this journey that it feels like you are stuck in mud or moving nowhere. And it can be so easy to lose sight. It happens to me and Selenid all the time. But then again, we have our big why written down and remind each other often. And then when we experience rewards for our hard work, it feels even better knowing we endured.
  3. Medicine. What is a bigger test in endurance than our journey in medicine!? We train and train for decades and then practice in often challenging circumstances to help others. We endure at times, knowing the reward and fulfillment is coming. And that’s why I always say, if you can get through medical training and residency, you can endure and achieve anything!

So, the next time you are struggling to keep going, remember…

“Enthusiasm is common, Endurance is rare.”

What do you think? How do you manage your enthusiasm and endurance? What do you do when your endurance wanes? Do you have a big why? Let me know in the comments below!

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    Jordan Frey MD, a plastic surgeon in Buffalo, NY, is one of the fastest-growing physician finance bloggers in the world. See how he went from financially clueless to increasing his net worth by $1M in 1 year and how you can do the same! Feel free to send Jordan a message at [email protected].

    1 thought on “Sorta Random Sunday: Enthusiasm vs. Endurance”

    1. Great post, Jordan. At my undergrad, shout out to Fayetteville (NC) State University, the mantra was always “keep your eye on the prize” and I think that’s very key when it comes to achieving goals.


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