Do you keep fighting after most people have quit?
How long will you last in the face of adversity?
The answer might just be found in the strength of your sisu.
Pronounced SEE-su is a Finnish word that is defined as an inner fire that creates strength when going up against great odds.
Never heard of sisu before? You are not alone.
The word is widely considered to lack a proper translation from Finnish into a single word in any other language.
Having guts is probably the closest English term to sisu.
But it is even more than just having guts or grit. You have to add duration.
It is one thing to have fortitude and take a chance briefly. It is another thing to stick with that decision when things get tough and everyone around you is giving up.
Sisu has been called Finland’s version of drive and a quiet force that never quits.
“It is a compound of bravado and bravery, of ferocity and tenacity,” wrote Time magazine in a story about Finland in 1940. “Of the ability to keep fighting after most people would have quit, and to fight with the will to win.”
Bravado, bravery, ferocity, force, tenacity, drive, and will to win. All wrapped up in one word…sisu.
That is one powerful word.