Words to live by: Grit, Grind and Gratitude

A Conversation with former Miss Minnesota, Brianna Drevlow  

Brianna Drevlow

When I met with Brianna a few months back over coffee, she told me of three small words which had a huge impact in her life. Those words with grit, grind and gratitude. She told me that no matter what life throws your way, she goes back to those three simple words to help guide and shape her life each day.

Why grit, why grind, why gratitude. Why those three?

"It's a threefold answer: 1) It's super easy to remember. 2) Those three words are both nouns and verbs. Grit is something you can possess, but you can demonstrate and show grit. Grind, It's something you can possess that grind within you but you can continue to grind away and work towards gratitude. Gratitude, you can demonstrate gratitude as a verb but you can also have the gratitude within you to share with others. 3) Grit Grind and Gratitude are like a pyramid: The grit is the bottom, the grind is the middle and the gratitude is the icing on top that we see. Grit is something we have to have within ourselves to fuel and push forward into the grind. Once we've had the grind - we experience the hardship and the failures, the ups the downs, that's when we can truly demonstrate gratitude."
- Brianna Drevlow 

The lightbulb went on for me when Brianna explained how she used grit, grind and gratitude as a part of her life, and I could see how they've had an impact in mine as well. The truth is, no matter what our life situation we can choose to let all of them impact our lives. You may be asking how are you going to do that? The easiest way to start is to understand the meaning of each word, but not only the meaning of the words themselves, but the meaning they have to you in your personal life journey.


For me, I didn't grow up with grit in my mindset. It wasn't until my mid 20's that I found a meaning for grit in my life. When I went through, what I like to call my quarter life crisis is when I truly can say I found my grit. I had an opportunity to gain more grit again a few years later. Shortly after Piet and I got married, life threw us a good amount of personal hardships in a short amount of time. 2016 was rough, as an international couple we were faced with a difficult immigration process, during that process we also lost my father unexpectedly. During both of those occurrences we were also at an all-time low in our finances, and we spent many months worrying if we were going to make it.

The good news is that with every challenge we face in life, we gain tools for our tool belt, better known as insight, and one of those tools is grit. While going through hardships we may not feel as though anything good can come of it, but after the air clears we can see the blessings that we receive. For Piet and I, as hard as it was to face life at that time, we ended up growing closer because of what we went through. What's even better is that Dak & Collaboratives was born as an outcome of that time in our lives. 

Dak and collaboraties work space

photo by M.Schleif Photography


We've heard this one before in a variety of ways, to be in the "grind" is to keep pushing and persevering through challenges. It's when you keep going after you've reached the point you think you can't go any further. Moments of grind come up in my life when faced with new challenges or conquering tasks and goals that seem unachievable at the time. The idea of grind, has opened my mind and reminded me that I've been made capable to take on challenges, keep pushing and growing past the limits that I've put on myself. 

dak and collaboratives m.schleif photography

photo by M.Schleif Photography 


Having gratitude for what you are given is the most important part. Nothing that we are given is ours alone, it's a gift we're given. Be thankful for the challenges you've been faced with, because they've grown you in way's you wouldn't have grown without them. With every challenge comes opportunity, and that's something we can be thankful for. Moments of gratitude have come up in my life often, sometimes in big ways, but mostly I find them in the little things - small blessings found day-to-day. I feel immense gratitude during our pop up shops, for everyone who walks through our doors. Even if it's just one person it's special because that person took time out of their day to visit us. To me time is more valuable than knowledge, money or anything else. Time is so precious, so for every single person who gives of their time it's worth it to show them gratitude.

Brianna Drevlow visits Dak & Collaboratives

Brianna visiting us at a Dak & Co Pop Up Shop.

 Want More?

Check out my conversation with Brianna in the latest episode of Find Your Style. 



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