I watched a fascinating Ted Talk recently from teacher and psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth. There she outlined what separates a successful student who is able to achieve, from another who can’t quite hit their potential. It turned out that studies have proven it isn’t IQ level, family income/home situation, race, gender … it all comes down to one little, not often-mentioned quality – grit.
Gritty students are determined to achieve, and so they do. Same with people in corporate jobs, pilots-in-training … no matter what we set out to do, if we have a decent dash of grit in the mix, then we are much more likely to reach our goals.
So what is grit?
It’s stickability. Pressing on when the going is tough and everyone else is gone. It’s determination to keep on track, keep reaching toward the outcome we want to achieve.
If you think about grit in a material sense, it’s kind of rough. It’s got character. You can’t just wash it away and smooth it over without effort – it’s tough and it ain’t budging.
I admire people with grit.
I like their oomph, their get-up-and-go. I think we want to follow people who have got grit, leaders who stick in there and see things through.
Grit doesn’t just show up in your life though. You can’t buy it at the corner store and add it to your character. You’ve got to build it in daily, through proving to yourself that you do have the willpower to make things happen and stay true to your decisions.
Start with small things. Keep those little promises to yourself, don’t quit before the job is done.
Eventually, you’ll become a person with grit. You’ll increase your own chances of succeeding, no matter what it is you put your mind to.