“Anyone who has gumption knows what it is, and anyone who hasn’t can never know what it is. So there is no need of defining it.” – Lucy Maud Montgomery
While it is true that certain people are born with more naturally apparent gumption than others, I am convinced that everyone possesses a measure of it deep down inside of them. It may be covered by layer upon layer of insecurity, anxiety, fear, self-loathing, doubt and a host of other depressants, but underneath it all is a reservoir of spirited initiative that longs to be expressed.
You needn’t teach gumption, for it is already present within each one. To see more of it, you must find the ways to melt away the aforementioned layers which shroud the inner gumption. The best way I’ve found to do this is to create a safe environment – an office, home or school – that is as free of judgment and alive with inspiration as those present will allow. I say allow because everyone present has a role to play and they must all do so willingly if there is to be sustainable development.
Any time someone makes a snarky comment, grouses about the limitations of present circumstance, maintains an unfavorable attitude or acts disingenuously, some of the gains he has made will be lost. Moreover, anyone who reacts to such unseemly displays will also lose ground.
The refining process can work out in short order if those present act responsibly and refrain from committing ignominious acts, no matter how justified they may feel about crossing this line. Slip-ups are bound to happen and when they do, the damage to the safe environment can be minimized to the degree that the reactions of the crowd are kept to a minimum.
I, for one, am keen to see more gumption in this world we share and I urge you to consider your part in letting it be so with you and through those around you.