What is grit and why is it important?

What is gritWhat is grit? I’ve heard this word alot recently. And of course the obvious supplementary question is, why is it important?

I’m referring to a term used in psychology to represent a positive, non-cognitive personality trait based on an individual’s perseverance of effort combined with the passion for a particular goal and a powerful motivation to achieve it. Allow me to explain.

Have you ever noticed that the smartest people are not always the most successful? Obviously success can be defined in different ways but for most people their measure would usually revolve around money and prestige.

If we take money as the measure for success, then you’d think the smartest people would easily come out on top on that score, surely? Yet you’d be wrong.

We hear stories frequently about college professors who struggle financially whilst at the same time tradesmen like bricklayers and plumbers become millionaires. How can that be?

Surely the smartest people have a natural advantage? Well, actually they don’t.

The people with the real, innate advantage are those with this quality known as grit.

So exactly what is grit? It is an inner steeliness. It is courage and resolve. It is strength of character. It is drive and desire. It is passion and motivation. It is a willingness to persevere until the desired result is achieved. It is determination to achieve a goal and a willingness to take calculated risks.

It is a fact that doing well in life depends on much more than academic ability and your capacity to learn quickly and easily.

Having those qualities is useful of course but in the absence of grit you’d still be at a disadvantage.

Someone of average academic ability but with a shed-load of grit will be better placed to achieve real success in life.

What is gritPeople with grit intuitively recognize that life is a marathon not a sprint.

They’re willing to experience failure because they know that failure is a temporary outcome not a permanent position. And they’re willing to fail and then start over using the lessons they’ve learned from the experience.

So what’s the key to success? It’s the need to get grittier!

Angela Lee Duckworth makes this point admirably in this excellent TEDxTalk video and it’s well worth a few minutes of your time. It’s an interesting video and I think she nails the point perfectly.

That’s what I think but what is your opinion?

Could there be such an easy answer or is it all much more complicated? I’d be interested to hear your views.

Grit: The power of passion and perseverance:

Further Reading:

If you’d like to know more about grit and Angela Lee Duckworth’s ideas about the secret of success then read her excellent and Number 1 best selling book Grit: Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success.

It’s well worth the cover price and you can check it out if you CLICK HERE

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