Sisu and Grit. Because it’s not always all fun and games

The word “Sisu” is a unique Finnish concept. It stands for the philosophy that what must be done will be done, regardless of what it takes. Sisu is an almost magical and mythological quality that embodies a special kind of grit, strength, stamina, persistent determination, and resolve during hard times. Sisu is not momentary courage, but the ability to sustain that courage. It is a unique combination of guts, drive, perseverance, and integrity that allows you to surpass any hardship, follow through to the end, and truly seize your passion.

Sisu is not always required to seize your passion. Some passion pursuits are simple and easy, and always fun. For example, I love doing yoga. I love going to the beach. I love watching movies. I love laughing and hanging out with friends. I love traveling. I love listening to music. I love going out for a great dinner. I love sleeping. I love snuggling up with my kids and showering them with kisses. I have plenty of passions that I engage in regularly that require zero amount of sisu.

However, there are certain passion pursuits that are simply not always all fun and games. Sometimes, whether it’s creating or building a business, your career, a passion project or a cause, in order to truly seize your passion and achieve the fulfillment you are yearning for in that passion pursuit, you have to have sisu. Because sometimes, the process itself and the work involved and the challenges you will inevitably encounter along the way of seizing your passion are really hard. And tiresome, and draining, and challenging. Sometimes, seizing your passion is just not any fun at all – despite the fact that you are passionate about it.

In fact, the bolder and bigger the passion, dream, vision or goal is – the more likely it is that you will need sisu to help you. It’s too easy to disengage from seizing your passion just because it’s not always easy, simple and fun. Yes, you should enjoy the journey and yes you should do what you love and stay passionate. But sometimes, part of that journey simply sucks. You have to ask yourself – what is the outcome I desire? I may not be passionate about steps 2, 3 and 4 – in fact, I may hate every minute and every aspect of those steps – but because those steps are necessary and because I am truly passionate about the end result, I am taking them. And, the way to do that is to tap into your sisu inside. The magical and mythological quality, belief and resolve to get through those steps, get to the finish line, and to truly #SeizeYourPassion!


Rachel Ellner Lebensohn, Proud Creator & Founder of Seyopa #SeizeYourPassion!

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