Finnish concept of SISU

Have you got what it takes? Have you got SISU? 🙂

People have described sisu as grit or perseverance, but Lahti clarifies that it’s more about “extraordinary perseverance.” In other words, it’s about enduring in the face of extreme, or beyond ordinary, challenges.

“Sisu is determination and courage in the face of great adversity,” said Lahti. “There is something in sisu that is more like when we feel that we’ve reached the end of our preconceived or assumed amount of energy and you discover a second wind or a spare power tank.”

Finns credit their history and location for their sisu. Finland has been independent for only a hundred years, following centuries of rule by Sweden and later Russia. During War War II, Finland famously fought off the Soviet Union’s winter invasion.

The key element is not so much that you survive in extreme conditions, but that those conditions demand more from you.

“It’s really accepting what is,” said Koskinen. “Even if the weather is really bad, we are accepting it’s really bad but we are still doing what we are planning to do.” 

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