Purpose and Love

February 2022

Love and grit— what do they have to do with each other? Everything. When we love ourselves, we commit to taking care of ourselves— so we can take care of others. When we love our teams, we commit to taking care of each person, and helping them to develop to be their best. When we love our work, we give our absolute best to each day, each task, each challenge and opportunity.

At the bottom of it all is a connection to purpose, and specifically what I like to call heart purpose, which seems only appropriate for Valentines Day.

I’ve been waiting forever, it seems, to share with you the launch of Paths 2 Purpose, the course I developed at The Grit Institute for the needs of clients in the technology industry, have led over a thousand participants in fields like law and accounting, and now is available to you, today!

Paths 2 Purpose recognizes the need we ALL have to connect to purpose, but especially in light of the last two years of challenge. Less than a year ago McKinsey reported on this specifically: Employers help their employees connect to purpose— or watch them leave.

Now you can experience this exact offering previously open only to corporate clients (and if you want to bring it to your organization or discuss licensing, let me know). It’s even better if you can take it with a colleague or friend, and compare notes at the end of each week. Available as an asynchronous course in multiple modalities, and optional field book for purchase as well.

I’m especially proud that my business school alma mater, the Tuck School at Dartmouth, is integrating this learning journey into their Next Step program that they offer to elite athletes and veterans, and the cohort just received their invitations today!


The Grit Factor: The Podcast

The Grit Factor podcast releases March 1!

Stay tuned for a quick note next week to tell you how to subscribe! Season one includes an Admiral, an Olympian, a fighter pilot and a technology CEO. You don’t want to miss these conversations on grit, resilience, grace and purpose.

This newsletter is, perhaps appropriately, related to finding your purpose— chapter 2 of The Grit Factor (the learning journey of Paths 2 Purpose blows Chapter 2 out in four different directions!) But for today, if you’d like to play along with our 8 newsletters/8 chapters work this year, pick up The Grit Factor and reacquaint yourself with chapter 2.

  1. Consider one word you would like to make your focus for 2022. Just because it’s February doesn’t mean it’s too late. I did not do resolutions this year, but rather picked one word; my word for 2022 is whole. Whole heart, whole being, whole person, whole life.

  2. Post this word somewhere you can see it when you wake up or as you work. As you know from Chapter 2 (and soon, I hope, from Paths 2 Purpose!) purpose is bigger and more complex and nuanced— and yet this simple exercise is a step in that direction.

  3. Extra credit: discuss your word with your manager, and how you want it to shape your work and life this year. Set goals related to this direction with your manager that you can work on together. Assess how you kept your focus at the end of each week.

Check in: How is it going with that one thing you chose last month? A short morning meditation? A daily walk outdoors? Can you help your people with taking on one thing? It’s always ok to restart when you’ve forgotten.

Because you are a subscriber, Going for Grit— the program designed to support you and take you deeper into The Grit Factor— is available to you at a 20% discount: Remember to use the code YOURGRIT on check out.

I’d love to hear from you on how keeping your ONE WORD in mind helps to guide your work over the days, weeks and months! Next month: Chapter 3!

To your grit,


“How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour and that one is what we are doing.”- Annie Dillard

Other things I'm loving:

  1. Debbie Millman, if you haven’t listened to her podcast Design Matters, you’re missing out. She also hosts a TED Hour on design in the broadest sense, including what she asks students to consider in her courses. Don’t miss following her as you think about purpose.(Meanwhile, a particularly appropriate episode for this month here.)

  2. Mission: Joy The movie on the friendship and lives of the Dalai Lama and the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu. If you have a chance to see this (check in with your local Episcopal church) it is well worth your consideration.

  3. Headspace: new year, one thing to change my life? Meditation and prayer, every day, as best I can.

Keynotes & Learning Journey Facilitation

Booking now for keynotes and learning journey facilitation this upcoming fall and winter. Virtual keynotes and in person in Europe with limited in-person engagements available in the states July 2022-July 2023.

The Grit Factor Book by Shannon Huffman Polson


Get your copy

The Grit Factor:
Courage, Resilience, and Leadership in the Most Male-Dominated Organization in the World