Grit


My name is Rolando Andrés Ramos. I was born in Havana, Cuba, grew up in Fort Lauderdale, and live in Orlando, Florida. I am passionate about creating and sharing engaging and entertaining stories. Throughout my professional career I have helped organizations, entrepreneurs, and artists discover and communicate their brand stories. Currently, as a digital marketing strategist, writer, and educator, I guide entrepreneurs, students, and artists to achieve their professional goals by leveraging data-driven information and digital marketing techniques.

Starting now, as I take steps to transition to the next phase on my life journey, I am focusing with full intent and unwavering commitment on developing creative writing skills to craft and share fictional stories. Thus, I am pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree from Full Sail University, a unique and amazing institution that is home to an ever-expanding family of educators, students, and alumni who are dedicated and inspired creative artists.

Reflections Upon Results from The Grit and Ambition Scales
On the Grit Scale (Duckworth et al., 2007), I achieved a score of 3.83 out of a possible 5.0. My score indicates that I am somewhat short of being “extremely gritty.” This assessment seems to coincide with my past behavior when pursuing goals and undertaking projects. I generally achieve my goals and finish my projects. However, on occasion I shift the thrust of my pursuits away from a goal, or my passion for a project fades, and as a result I do not finish what I start.

On the Ambition Scale (Duckworth et al., 2007), I achieved a score of 4.8 out of a possible 5.0. My score on this scale approaches “extremely ambitious.” This assessment also seems to coincide with my past behavior. Generally, I am achievement-oriented, driven to succeed, and seek to be the best at what I do.

Strongest and Weakest Areas
My strongest areas are that I am achievement oriented, seek to overcome setbacks to conquer important challenges, and I am a hard worker. I believe my strengths are due to being a first generation American with a strong work ethic and driven to succeed.

My three weakest areas are that I allow new projects and ideas to distract me occasionally from pursuing prior goals, become interested in new pursuits every few months, and sometimes have difficulty maintaining focus on long term projects. I believe my weakest areas result from my curiosity and insatiable appetite for new experiences and knowledge. To transform my weaker areas into strengths, I need to prioritize my goals and focus on completing the steps necessary to achieve them.

Three Concepts from The Mastery Reading That Resonated with My Results
The three concepts from this week’s Mastery readings that resonate most with the results I achieved on the Grit and Ambition Scale assessments are as follows:

  1. Occupy the perfect niche- The Darwinian strategy for finding your life’s tasks. (Greene, 2012). I chose this concept because focusing on my perfect niche to find my life’s tasks will enable me to identify the essential projects and pursuits upon which to concentrate. Focusing primarily on essential projects and pursuits will enable me to resist the call of distractions and maintain focus on long-term goals.
  2. The three steps of the Apprenticeship Phase: Step 1, Deep Observation- The passive mode. Step 2, Skills Acquisition- The practice mode. Step 3, Experimentation- The active mode (Greene, 2012). I chose this concept because it provides a structure and workflow for me to develop and master creative writing skills systematically and with minimum distractions.
  3. Trust the process. Robert Greene explains that “when it comes to mastering a skill, time is the magic ingredient” (Greene, 2012). I chose this concept because it describes the process wherein practicing a new skill over days and weeks will eventually lead to that skill becoming hardwired and part of my tool set. As I learn new storytelling skills in a variety of genres, it will be essential to trust the process and avoid becoming bored or frustrated when the genres taught are not the ones I plan to focus upon in my writing.

References
Duckworth, A.L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M.D., & Kelly, D.R. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9, 1087-1101.

Duckworth, A. L. (n.d.). Grit: The power of passion and perseverance. Retrieved August 5, 2019, from https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance

Greene, R. (2012). Mastery. New York, NY: Penguin.

Image Credits
AL, Q. (n.d.). Untitled [Photograph found in Unsplash]. Retrieved August 7, 2019, from https://unsplash.com/@quinoal?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText

Pointless Things Give Life Meaning

Today I embark on a journey I have planned for decades and never found the time to begin.

I did find time to be a student, a son, a husband, a father, a caregiver, a friend, a marketer, a teacher– and performed each role to the utmost of my ability. Yet all along I yearned, and dreamed, and longed to write stories and tell tales– but for that role so frivolous, selfish, and pointless, I dared not take the time

But, no longer will I wait. This year I hope to reach one of those milestone birthdays many never reach, most dread, and few embrace. To celebrate that milestone and transition to the next phase of my life, I am carving out time for my long deferred journey.

Beginning today, and for the next twelve months, I am embarking on a journey of learning. I intend fully to make time to write stories and tell tales. I am doing this for me. With no clear destination in sight and no pragmatic goal in mind.

This month I have begun Mastery, the first course in my year-long pursuit of a Creative Writing Master of Science degree from Full Sail University. I am feeling electric with anticipation. I will share postcards along the way.

Source: A quote by Tim Winton. (n.d.). Retrieved August 4, 2019, from http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/147761-it-s-the-pointless-things-that-give-your-life-meaning-friendship