Every day, like every new year, presents us with a horizon. A line of singularity that stretches into spaces we cannot see. With the passage of time the invisible becomes visible and then a memory. Looking ahead to the new year, I am reminded of all that was unknown just 12 months ago, and I wonder how this year’s unknowns will unfold in the coming year. As parent’s, we seek for stretches of time that may go unplagued by sickness, setbacks, or heartbreak, wanting only life’s pleasantries to last a bit longer. It is natural to want to shield our children from the ugliness of the everyday world, to wish that bright eyes would only ever open to see the light and love, the beauty and brilliance of this planet we call home.

However, research is showing us that perhaps we are going too far in our quest against the quagmires of the world. What our children really need is to develop “grit.” Even greater than a heightened IQ or athletically superior DNA, “Grit” (or the ability to weather the storm and still come out swinging) is the most valuable skill human beings have developed in the race to the top of the food chain.

This specific trait is something we at the Clubs work diligently to instill in members. Our Leaders in Training, Torch Club, and Youth of the Month programming is designed to help children empower themselves and inspire others to make positive choices even when they aren’t the easy choices.

Famed Social Psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth shares her findings on success in this one of kind TED talk. Enjoy it with a stout cup of black coffee the way an old rancher might. Channel your inner grit, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and thank the people in your life who didn’t “Make your paths straight.” They may have been the best guides to your life yet.