Sisu – Sustaining Courage

Silhouette of a man holding his arms up in victory on top of rocks

A while back I came across a company that advertised “Sisu” as a character quality they were seeking in new-hires.  Great word.  It’s what I want to think of being when I start my day. It is who I am and what I aspire to be.  As defined in Wikipedia, It is not momentary courage, but the ability to sustain the same:

Sisu is a Finnish term that could be roughly translated into English as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of

Courage - Japanese characteradversity. The equivalent in English is “to have guts”, and indeed, the word derives from sisus, which means something inner or interior.

Usually sisu means the will and decisiveness to get the things done against impossible odds.  It reminded me of Stephen Covey’s statement that true character is revealed in the crucible of life:

“A man’s true confidence is rooted in the wells of courage, and courage is evidence of character. In the end, a man’s character is revealed in the crucible of everyday challenges.”

Life brings moments when extraordinary courage is required.  Decide.  Have the will. Get things done.

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1 comments
Bob Glaza
Bob Glaza

A great blog title, Jeff and what a wonderful word you introduce to me. I wonder if practicing momentary courage often enough would lead to sisu and the ability to sustain? Keep your hopes and courage alive!