Gumption transcends willpower and confidence

It’s nice to be disciplined and ambitious, but having gumption is even better. Gumption is the inspired, agentic feeling for an activity which makes it no longer require willpower or confidence.

Gumption comes easily when activities have intrinsically meaningful purposes. It’s readily sapped by nonsense. Related: Enabling environments’ activities directly serve an intrinsically meaningful purpose


Pirsig, R. (1979). Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance: An inquiry into values. New York: Morrow.

Last updated 2023-07-13.