BOOK REVIEW – MY GRIT JOURNAL
Author : Kerry Brown
Why oh why did ‘My Grit Journal’ not exist when I was a teenager? Seriously, those tumultuous teenage years would have been a little bit smoother and easier to deal with without a shadow of a doubt had I been able to work through something akin to this wonderful little book. It’s no grand secret, we all know that the teenage years can be tough going at times, and probably now more so than ever before in human history have the challenges of growing up been so complex and varied – so much info to process, noise to work through, figuring out who you are, what makes you tick and what you want to do with your life can be daunting to say the least.
So, anything that makes the journey that little bit easier is a winner, right? Right.
Set out in bite-size chunks, My Grit Journal, is extremely accessible and easy to work through and digest. That’s not to say its contents are simplistic, there’s real depth to it and a considered awareness on the author’s part of the type of things that are running through a young person’s mind.
Kerry Brown, the author, has a wealth of experience in education, having worked as a classroom teacher, headteacher and now currently runs an Education, Coaching and Consultancy business called, Go Fish Education, with her husband, Dylan. As well as running a successful business, Kerry and Dylan are raising 3 children, writing a blog Mrs Brown’s Blogs (please give it a read as it is super!) and are totally passionate about inspiring, motivating and encouraging young people to uncover their true selves and be the best that they can be. Talk about walking the talk and being examples of owning a grit mindset, these guys role model it seriously well!
As a Mum to a teenager myself (Aarhhh, how did that happen?!) I am now hooked on My Grit Journal for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is really easy to use: as mentioned, it is broken down into 12 sections to be used over a 12-week time period. Each week a new topic is discussed, such as ‘Mindset Matters’, ‘Finding Inspiration’ and ‘Neuroplasticity in Action’ (my personal favourite chapter and my speech for when my 8-year old wants to quit his cello lessons for the umpteenth time because ‘I’m rubbish at it, Mum’!) – within each section questions are posed to make the reader think about their own hopes, big dreams, ambitions and plans for the future and there is space to record not just thoughts about these things but also to highlight which realistic steps are required to successfully make progress and be successful.
I greatly enjoyed the tone of the book and felt it hit the nail on the head perfectly. It is straight-talking, down to earth, direct, positive and never ever patronising or condescending. It takes the challenges of growing up seriously and aims to equip the reader with the skills needed to thrive and be alive, not merely survive! Kerry has managed to balance speaking with the authoritative voice of experience and also appealing to young people no matter where they’re at in life with her real and relevant talk. It acknowledges that at times life can feel like a crazy rollercoaster ride, and explains how set-backs can be helpful in developing a growth mindset and I really like that. It doesn’t shy away from the fact that sometimes life can suck a bit when things don’t go our way or circumstances seem way too hard to deal with; but shows how to turn these challenges into opportunities for growth, building a grit mindset that can cope with hard times and most of all being someone who is determined to keep going even when setbacks threaten to topple us.
As the title of the book suggests, it’s all about GRIT – recognising it, developing it and inspiring others to find their own grit and use it.
Kerry sums up: ‘Grit is simply the motivation, the inner drive and determination to keep trying even when things are really tough.’
Nice, huh? I am all for anything that encourages my own kids to understand who they are, what ignites their flame, and that also helps them to develop resilience in what can at times be a harsh world. My eldest son is itching to get his hands on the journal to work through. He saw me reading it, asked what it was all about, and once I explained, he raised his eyebrows and said: ‘Sounds awesome, can I do it?’*
*I will post an update once he has completed it.
Another thing I think is great about the journal is that it will not detract from time needed to complete school work. If anything, it will support a young person as they journey through their school years. While there is plenty of encouragement to think deep, the chapters are not long or time-consuming to read. It is easily manageable alongside a heavy school workload and to be completely honest, if schools handed this book out as a resource for young people, I can imagine that it would be highly effective in inspiring young people to focus, fix their eyes on their own personal goals and figure out the best methods to work towards their plans.
I fall hook, line and sinker for anything positive, inspiring and motivational. The world has enough sadness and aggro in it after all, so when My Grit Journal, dropped through my letterbox, I was delighted to work through it and see that it is such a valuable book in that it will help teenagers to find the good in themselves, to realize that they can be and will be the movers and shakers of tomorrow, the force of good in an uncertain world. To create their bright future, their way. Bottom line, it’s fab! And would also make a neat little stocking filler…just saying!
As a little aside, can I just add, that although primarily written for and targeted at teenagers, My Grit Journal, could equally be useful for anyone wanting to find a way to establish personal goals, grow the grit mindset required to do it and help with laying out a step by step formula to reach a specific destination. I personally have found it especially useful in reminding me of my own personal ambitions and have set out new goals for myself and with them an action plan, all as a result of completing My Grit Journal.
Beyond the 12-week kick-starter section of My Grit Journal there are ‘Goal-setting’ challenges to try out over a 12-month period and then reflect on…a great idea and resource for staying motivated and focused, to continue developing grit, an unbeatable mindset and to grow into the best version of yourself. Hurrah!
If you would like to buy My Grit Journal it is available from Amazon.
Please note: I was not paid to write this review but I did receive a free copy of My Grit Journal, which my teenager is now about to put to good use! Many thanks, Kerry.