“It’s not self-control that makes gritty people so awesome. It’s their ability to persevere and maintain hope in spite of setbacks, invisible progress and even their own poor judgment. How are they able to do this? One word: optimism.”
“How to Learn Grit at Any Age”
By Joe De Sena, INC. Magazine, 4/19/16.
We talk about grit all the time here at Spartan Race but Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth is the woman who literally wrote the book about it (or at least she will be when Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance is published May 3 by Scribner). You probably know her from articles in The New York Times and her TED Talk. She is THE expert on the subject of grit…
It was amazing to talk to the woman whose work has inspired me so much. Angela is a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, the founder of Duckworth Labs and a MacArthur Fellow (sometimes called the “genius grant”). You’d think with all of these credentials, Angela would put a lot of emphasis on smarts. Not so.
Angela says that the thing that predicts success far more than intelligence or a privileged upbringing is GRIT, which she defines as sustaining interest, passion and persistence for a goal over the long term. She’s been studying this for more than a decade and doesn’t think she’ll ever be done–there is so much more to study and she feels she’s only brushed the surface. Talk about grit…
“Grit and self-control are related, but they’re not the same thing,” Angela said.
You might have heard of the self-control test that Angela has given kids she’s studied. She gives them a choice between a small pile of their favorite treat, which they can have immediately, or a huge pile they can have if they wait 10 minutes. Kids almost always say they want to wait for the big pile, but that’s when reality kicks in–can they really wait…?
Angela was impressed, but she pointed out that although people who are good at overcoming temptation tend to be grittier, it’s wrong to think high achievers have great self-control. “What’s true of the most eminent individuals in society is that they have the capacity for zest and sustained hard labor,” she said.
For Angela, it’s not self-control that makes gritty people so awesome. It’s their ability to persevere and maintain hope in spite of setbacks, invisible progress and even their own poor judgment. How are they able to do this? One word: optimism…
So how do we become gritty if we’re not? Teaching optimism is a good start, but just as important is a growth mindset. Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck defined a growth mindset as the belief that your abilities are changeable. Too many people think they can’t climb a rope or scale a wall because they’ve never been athletic, but believing you can learn and grow builds new skills, and grit. And not just in childhood–adults can learn new abilities, too. Angela said science proves this over and over again…
In His Grace;
Bob W. <><
(Typ@s by Siri.)