Have you heard of Angela Duckworth’s new book, “Grit”? If not, I highly advise that you add it to your reading list!
She is an engaging writer and you may find yourself, like me, having trouble putting the book down!
Angela is a psychologist who has studied the concept of success – from the perspective of effort rather than talent. You can check out her website. This is how she explains grit…
“Grit is passion and perseverance for long-term goals.
One way to think about grit is to consider what grit isn’t.
Grit isn’t talent. Grit isn’t luck. Grit isn’t how intensely, for the moment, you want something.
Instead, grit is about having what some researchers call an “ultimate concern”–a goal you care about so much that it organizes and gives meaning to almost everything you do. And grit is holding steadfast to that goal. Even when you fall down. Even when you screw up. Even when progress toward that goal is halting or slow.
Talent and luck matter to success. But talent and luck are no guarantee of grit. And in the very long run, I think grit may matter as least as much, if not more.”
So how does this show up in real life?
A short story about my Dad…one of the grittiest people I know.
At 91, his current project is to plant 1200 baby trees that will in 5-7 years turn into Christmas Trees. But this isn’t a new project – but one that supports a lifelong passion of being a “tree person”. As a very young man he knew he had an interest in trees and their impact on the economy and the environment. Throughout his life he has remained dedicated to learning, research and work related to trees. Things were not always easy, and more than once he hit barriers – often set by others – teachers, bosses, others – but he has continued to persevere, and even in his retirement has continued to participate in global tree research AND Christmas trees.
Why is this important?
It seems that Talent isn’t as important as Grit when it comes to success! And that you can start at any stage of life and build grit.
What can you do?
Refer to the concept of “The Hard Thing Rule” (see page 241 in the book). This rule has 3 parts:
As a coach and a parent and a leader, and someone who isn’t innately talented at many of the things I’m interested in, the value of hard work leading to excellence really resonates. I have seen firsthand the impact of hard work in my clients and those around me.
I’m excited enough about this concept that I could go on and on about it. But instead, here are three actions you might want to take to learn more:
Please feel free to leave me a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.