“Sisu” Your Way to Success


Everyone wants to be superstar - at least in their own life. To make this dream comes true, everyone does their best in their struggle to success. While each individual has their own strategy in achieving their life goals, there is a method you should never miss out: “Sisu” way.

The truth is, Sisu is not a technique. There is no direct translation of this word as well. However, the history of Sisu comes from Finland history. When Finland fought invading superpower of the Soviet Union, the Finns developed their own strategy called Sisu and managed to fight them to a standstill. The Finns, then, described Sisu as Finnish spirits that determines how individuals’ spirits can tackle all the hardship ahead.

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Sisu is about taking action against the odds and displaying courage and resoluteness in face of adversity. Thus, deciding on a course of action and sticking to that decision despite repeated failures is Sisu. Sure is, everyone has Sisu within themselves. However, how can an individual develop their Sisu to develop success?

Emilia Lahti, who studies the concept of Sisu, said to James Clear that “Sisu provides final push when we should otherwise hesitate to act.” Thus, when you feel like a failure, calling the Sisu back to yourself is the best move. Lahti suggested these actions in order to call your Sisu back and help you Sisu your way to success.

Firstly, run miles away. By running you will develop a chance to practice pushing yourself. Running is exercising. And exercising can give you more energy to fight negativity in your body.

Secondly, reflect on your most Sisu-filled times. You should be able to find evidence of your own ability to overcome long odds. After that, use it to encourage you to against Red Army when they start invading again.

Thirdly, capture historic and heroic moment in your/someone’s else live. Think about someone who is always failing but eventually successful in their life. Think about history moment – for example Finnish history when the fought the Soviet Union during winter war and eventually won. Then, tell yourself that you will eventually give the same effort.

Lastly, combine all the above courage to push yourself to the limit. Once you get comfortable with the discomfort, you will surely be able to bring Sisu back to your life.

“Sisu begins where perseverance and grit end. It is the ‘second wind’ of mental toughness, after the individual has reached the limits of their observed mental or physical capacities.” – Emilia Lahti

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