What does sisu mean to you? The study is on!

Saad sisu avatar2“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability
of humans to elevate their life by conscious endeavors.”

Adapted from a quote
by Henry David Thoreau

Is sisu an indomitable ability to relentlessly pursue meaningful long-term goals? Or is it more like a reserve of extraordinary power, that provides the spark for you to overcome a challenging situation?

Very little empirical work has been done to explore the meaning of sisu, and the following survey provides a unique opportunity to contribute to our knowledge of this fascinating Finnish construct. To be able to answer the questions and take part in this survey requires that you have familiarity with sisu. The study seeks to increase our understanding of sisu as it pertains to individual achievement and well-being, to examine whether it can be cultivated through conscious effort, and to explore what benefits this could yield for individuals and communities.

Help us spread the word about this intriguing study, and click here to take the survey yourself (the link can also be found below).


You can follow the progress of this research project and receive sisu-related information by joining http://www.facebook.com/InspireSisu

Welcome to an exploration of the essence of sisu!


Emilia Elisabeth Lahti
M.Soc.Sci, Master of Applied Positive Psychology (expected 2013)
University of Pennsylvania

4 thoughts on “What does sisu mean to you? The study is on!

  1. I am very interested in this study and left a message on the facebook site. I am half Finn. My dad’s parents moved to America from Vaasa, Finland with a few possessions and lots of dreams.

    Please tell me how I can help!

    I possess a huge amount of SISU myself and have known the meaning of the word since I was a child and am 54 now! It is a difficult word to quantify, it is more a feeling than an adjective if that makes any sense.

    LuAnn Laituri Rothbrust


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