Updated: May 19, 2022
Sisu is an ancient Finnish concept that embodies courage, resilience, determination, perseverance and inner strength. It is an action-oriented mindset. Sisu allows you to take on a challenge seemingly beyond your capacity. You call upon it when adversity and opposition force you to give up and only your courage allows you to hold on.
A year of sisu
During the past year, we all faced moments when our physical and mental resources felt tapped out. But, like the Finns that coined the term, our sisu saw us through. When our front-line medical workers were dead on their feet, they pulled another shift. That is sisu.
When our world changed overnight, we pivoted to adapt to a new reality. That is sisu. When events and competitions were cancelled, we continued to train and make fitness a priority. That is sisu.
Maximize your potential
Jean François Ménard, author of Train Your Brain like an Olympian, is an acclaimed performance psychologist. His clients include Canada’s top Olympians: Scott Moir, Tessa Virtue, Mikaël Kingsbury and other gold medal athletes.
Finnish Dr. Ménard teaches his athletes to embrace their sisu. It is a state of mind. Regardless the challenge, put yourself in the present moment and focus on the task at hand. Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code, repeats the same sisu mantra: Greatness isn’t born, it’s grown.
Be present in the moment
The past year was rough. The coming year will hold its own set of challenges. However, it can also hold amazing opportunity for success. It is all up to you and your mindset. Success requires a focus on the present. Don’t look back. That’s not the direction you are going. I urge you to step outside your comfort zone. Reach for new goals in 2021. Embrace your sisu.