Driving in town this weekend, I noticed a bumper sticker on a work van ahead. It asked, "GOT SISU?" I smiled because I do have sisu. It's actually part of my Finnish ancestory.

"Sisu" (see-su) is a Finnish word that describes an element of Finnish culture which represents a dogged perseverance. To the Finnish people, "sisu" has a nearly mystical, magical aura, bordering on the spiritual.

"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


I started thinking about my own sisu nature and realized that this is the element that I often seek to instill in my clients. While they may not be in a war against an invading country, they ARE involved in a battle within and need all of the reserves we can muster. Casting a powerful force like sisu can help them navigate the trenches and persevere to the completion of their goals.

A Finnish proverb: "Strong willpower will take a woman even through stone."


Update 3/11/16  Wow! I just found this wonderful video on Sisu! Enjoy! www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTIizGyf5kU