This question has been stuck for a long time in the back of my mind… The best question in order to answer with honesty to the question is by asking yourself: who is successful here and why. There is no single and clear answer to why some students fail and other students succeed. For this reason, after searching I found this powerful TED Talk by Angela Lee Duckworth. She is a psychologist and she believes that our educational system should focus much more on understanding the students and learn from a motivational perspective– a psychological perspective.
After continuous studies, Angela Lee Duckworth came up with a new form of measuring success in any field: “the grit”. It is not about social intelligence or good looks, physical health and neither IQ; it’s about passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. In this sense, talent doesn’t make you gritty. The psychologist considers that talent counts once and effort counts twice. You can achieve great things despite not winning the talent lottery.
However, being gritty is hard, resisting endless temptations to quit or experiencing failure is extremely difficult to deal with. Here are four specific ways in order to grow your grit:
Find the remaining question that is on the back of your mind; what questions are the most intriguing to you, find those questions that fascinate you and you’ll find the capacity to stay gritty while trying to achieve something great.
The secret is to compete with who you were yesterday. Therefore, try to reflect on how you can carve out time each day to push your abilities and seek constant and never-ending improvement.
Angela Duckworth conducted a survey to know what the bigger contributor of grit was: was it pleasure or feeling a greater sense of purpose? She found out that higher level of purpose was directly correlated to higher levels of grit. It’s up to you to determine what purpose or greater meaning your work has. Whatever you come up with has the capacity to raise your level of grit.
Long-term success is dependent on a core belief; to be gritty you need to scrap the theory that your abilities are fixed. Neuroscience has shown that we have an enormous capacity to mold our brain and learn new skills as we get older. Therefore, you can shape your brain through sustained effort and experience. Now try to remember that time when you started to do or learn something new, probably you were scared that you couldn’t learn but you did! From now on use that experience to disrupt any beliefs that your abilities are fixed.
Finally, I feel strongly that we all have the capacity to grow our grit. We can develop the confidence to start taking action despite how untalented we think we are. There are millions of people out there who share the same skills. However, all of them are unique to their personalities, creativity, and way of studying. Thus, we can be hopeful that we can one day become more than what we think we can.
If this article has been helpful for you and you would like to go deeper on Angela Lee Duckworth’s theory I encourage you to purchase her book. Also, there is a free short PDF of the Insights from Grit by Angela Duckworth available.
Moreover, I recommend you to have a look at the webpage called Rule Your Way , is a very powerful and inspiring blog! The owner and writer of the blog Andrei Cimbru, has written a book based on his own life experiences and backed up by psychology and philosophical for the sole purpose of helping people remove the unnecessary mental and emotional baggage that is dragging them down and to finally get a glimpse of what abundance feels like. Cracked: How Telling The Truth Will Save Your Life certainly help you to dive deeper into a series of stories and lessons that can help you figure yourself out.