Snow and Sisu

I’ve been reading a lot lately about Sisu, a Finnish word without a literal translation into English, and it’s also been snowing a lot lately. Snow that we are measuring in feet, not inches. It is taking more and more effort to rally, get my gear back on, and move the latest white stuff from the places that I don’t want it to the places where it might still fit.

So, what is Sisu. It has been defined as stoic determination, tenacity, grit, resilience, hardiness. When you have Sisu, after deciding on a course of action, you stick to it with a determined, even courageous, approach which may exceed what you thought were your physical or mental capabilities. Rather than temporary courage, it connotes a way of life and evokes the indomitable human spirit.

Studies in Finland found that although the majority believed that some people naturally have more Sisu, even more believed that Sisu can be cultivated through conscious practice. I’m intrigued – this is a quality that I want to cultivate.

But right now, whether I call it Sisu, or grit, or willpower, I guess it’s time to put down the laptop, grab my shovel, and head back out into the storm.