book review -

Keeping Inventory of our Mental State

Ferris Bueller philosophically stated Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” in the classic Americana film, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”  

Aside from Matthew Broderick’s character use of trickery throughout the film to get ahead of forces looking hold him down (i.e. the principal, Ed Rooney), he found himself going in circles. It was not until Ferris took moments to reflect and become grounded that he gets to where he wants to be. This is what Brad Stulberg exactly presents to the reader in “The Practice of Groundedness. 

We italicize the word Groundedness, since in fact it is not a word in the Webster Dictionary, but rather a concept that Brad Stulberg introduces the reader to The term is defined as: 

“An unwavering internal strength and self-confidence that sustains you through ups and downs. It is a deep reservoir of integrity and fortitude of which lasting performance, well- being, and fulfillment emerge”  

But as Stulberg points out, knowing the meaning of the defined term is not enough; practice is needed. But as Stulberg presents, before one can practice Groundedness, one must practice acceptance. 

There is a common misconception that if you have accepted where you are, you are being complacent or, at worse, that you gave up. As Stulberg states, this is not true.

We should view acceptance as taking inventory of our body and soul. Just as a grocery owner counts all the items in his store at week’s end to understand the store’s performance, if more products should be ordered etc... we must take a mental note of where we are, how we are feeling, and what needs to be altered to be in a better space.

This can be a daunting task to many, since we are trying to take an honest inventory of our current state. To arrive at an honest inventory, one must drop the egos, the bravado, and the nonsense; essentially being vulnerable.

This mental surgery is meticulously performed by Stulberg as the reader progresses throughout the book. We recommend that the reader take the book one day and time and attempt to put to practice the guidance provided.

Concluding the book, the reader would become armed with the six principals of Groundedness laid out by Stulberg:  

  1. Accept where you are to get where you want to go 
  2. Be present so you can own your attention and energy  
  3. Be patient you’ll get there faster 
  4. Embrace vulnerability to develop genuine strength and confidence 
  5. Build deep community  
  6. Move your body to ground your mind 

Here at Organic Grit, we are all about action. It's one thing to say something, but another to move forward.

Stulberg concludes his book with a call to action, which is why we love this book so much. We would like to highlight that Stulberg does not methodically list out actions (such as, walk outside, eat well, get some sunlight etc...).

These all can be searched online, chosen, and practiced if desired. Rather, Stulberg guides the reader on how to develop a practice and to keep it aligned with your life. Every one of us are different in our own unique way.

We have different lives, jobs, families, social economic status, etc..., it would be naïve to think that there is an “one fits all” solution that can be applied here.

Stulberg breaks this down and illustrates how to develop and keep a routine by imploring the reader to engage in identify 4 sections: (I) Behavior to start (II) Triggers (III) Rewards and (IV) How to design your environment.

Armed with this understanding, any reader can identify any aspect of their life to adjust; and by making it personal, it's more likely to stick.