How long do you stick with a task or project when it’s not going your way? How long do your kids, your students or your staff keep attacking a problem before they conclude: “I can’t do this.” According to recent research the critical factor that will determine your success is your level of GRIT. That is, your degree of passion and perseverence for any given activity.
I work with schools and businesses (including directly with young people) to improve their outcomes. I’m fascinated by what it is that makes some people excel when others don’t. What makes the difference between the good and the great? Angela Duckworth in her book GRIT details extensive studies within education, the sales industry and the military and discovered that her GRIT SCALE predicted who succeeded and who didn’t better than any other measure. Try the Grit Scale yourself online here https://angeladuckworth.com/grit-scale/ . Better than IQ, better than aptitude tests, better than SAT scores, better than prior experience… Grit predicts success.
Most people score more highly on perseverence than on passion but the two are obviously linked. We are more likely to persevere with something we are passionate about. Also linked to this is whether we have a fixed or growth mindset about our potential to improve. If our mindset is fixed – i.e. “I know I’m not good at this” – then when we hit an obstacle we take it as confirmation of our assumption and we tend to give up. But if we have a growth mindset then we tend to see obstacles more as challenges to be overcome, opportunities to develop, and so if at first we don’t succeed, we try it another way.
Mindset is critical to success in any discipline. But the good news is that we can change our mindset, we can grow our GRIT. We can become grittier as we change the way we think and as we discover our passions – what we really care about. I run workshops and training to help people do just this.
Famously Thomas Edison, inventer of the lightbulb, was once asked why he didn’t give up in spite of so many failed attempts (allegedly approximately 10,000!). His reply was brilliant: “I never failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Passion & Perseverence. Grit.