My favorite word isn’t what some of you might think it is. My favorite word, the word that gets me through the day, the kind of word you say to yourself when your back is against the wall and your beaten down and surrounded by your enemies and hardships; the word is SISU. SISU is a Finnish term loosely translated into English as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity. Sisu has been described as being integral to understanding Finnish culture. However sisu is defined by a long-term element in it; it is not momentary courage, but the ability to sustain an action against the odds. Deciding on a course of action and then sticking to that decision against repeated failures is sisu.
“Having guts” is the English-to-Finnish formal translation and yet that translation is lacking so much more. The word derives from sisus, which means something inner or interior. Dynamic translation (sense translation) of ‘sisu’ yields the English word ‘grit’; which shares all its denoting elements with SISU.

Sisu has been described by The New York Times as “the word that explains Finland”, and the Finns’ “favorite word”—”the most wonderful of all their words.” During the famous Winter War of 1939–1940, the Finnish perseverance in the face of the invasion by the Soviet Union popularized this word in English for a generation. In what might have been the first use of SISU in the English language, on January 8, 1940, Time magazine reported:

Singled out for kudos for this attribute was “Finland’s wiry old peasant President, Kyösti Kallio—73 years old and full of SISU (courage)—last week thought up a new scheme to get supplies for his country.” It was also used to describe the Finnish stubbornness during those trying times.

During the 1952 Summer Olympics, SISU was further described in the context of the continuing Cold War looming over the Finnish capital city of Helsinki:

Even in 2009, SISU is so important to being Finnish that “to be a real Finn” you must have it: “willpower, tenacity, persistency.”

“ The Finns have something they call SISU. It is a compound of bravado and bravery, of ferocity and tenacity, of the ability to keep fighting after most people would have quit, and to fight with the will to win. The Finns translate SISU as “the Finnish spirit” but it is a much more gutful word than that. Last week the Finns gave the world a good example of SISU by carrying the war into Russian territory on one front while on another they withstood merciless attacks by a reinforced Russian Army. In the wilderness that forms most of the Russo-Finnish frontier between Lake Laatokka and the Arctic Ocean, the Finns definitely gained the upper hand. —Time magazine, January 8, 1940”

“ Finnish SISU—meaning a peculiarly Finnish brand of doggedness, capable of facing down death itself … SISU enables them to say: “We have nothing worse than death to fear.” … with SISU the Finns have learned to walk the nerve-racking path of independence like tight-rope walkers.

Due to its cultural significance, SISU is a common element of brand names in Finland. For example, there are Sisu brand trucks (and Sisu armored vehicles), icebreaker MS Sisu, a brand of strong-tasting pastilles manufactured by Leaf , [12] and a Finnish nationalist organisation Suomen Sisu.

Mount Sisu is the name of a mountain first ascended by mountain climbers Veikka Gustafsson and Patrick Degerman in the Antarctic. Along with an amazing and one of a kind training area run by Dann Pitkapaasi of EVER FORWARD FITNESS

The term SISU is commonly used in everyday speech to describe stoic toughness or the will and decisiveness to surmount challenges against impossible odds. In 2010, a 63-year-old man of Munising, Michigan, walked 425 miles to the Detroit Lions training facility to bring the spirit of sisu to the team.

In these times of struggle and strife we all have battles to fight. In these battles you will be out numbered. In these battles you will get knocked over. In these battles you will get beaten down to the ground so bad and no one will think you are going to ever get back up. That is when you need to get your shit together plant yourself firmly where you will make your stand and rise again and again. That last time you stand taller and stronger then ever before there will be a glorious moment and you will stand triumphant and victorious against all obstacles and odds.

With SISU you can move EVER FORWARD – STAY THE COURSE

EVER FORWARD – STAY THE COURSE

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