Gumption // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson

Gumption, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, means 1) common sense and 2) initiative.

Wouldn’t it be great if more people had their “gumption” recharged?

Young people usually have initiative and energy — but they often lack the common sense (wisdom.) Enthusiasm is not gumption.

As people grow older, they gain common sense — but they lose steam in the initiative department. Experience is not gumption.

Gumption is a good blending of both — a common sense/initiative combo.

Many years ago, I considered hiring a young man as an assistant. I asked a wise mentor his opinion of the candidate.

“He doesn’t seem to have much gumption.” the wise mentor observed.

“Not yet, but I’ll teach it to him.” I said.

He smiled, shook his head and replied, “You can’t teach gumption.”

He was absolutely right. I followed his advice, and ended up with an assistant who had gumption!

Gumption must come from deep within the heart. It cannot be imposed or infused by exterior pressure. If you don’t have it, I can’t give it to you, no matter how hard I try!

Gumption is an attitude — an approach to life. A person with gumption adds value everywhere he/she goes. On the other hand, you have to drag the gumptionless along with you — they certainly aren’t going to carry their own weight.

Gumption is not pie in the sky thinking — it is faith-reality thinking.

Having gumption requires optimism. Some folks say “I’m a realist” — when what they’re really saying is “I’m just negative.”

A true Realist must be a positive thinker! There’s no other option if you wish to claim that title. Realism is when new realities are created from mere ideas. Only positive people with gumption can do that!

Pessimistic nay-sayers never accomplish anything. They just complain and find fault, while the gumptioned go getters roll up their sleeves and move things forward.

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