What is Grit?
I enjoy TED Talks so you might see a few on the blog. This TED Talk is from Angela Lee Duckworth explaining how “grit” is the determining factor for our success. “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in day out not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality.” Angela explains that success isn’t determined by your IQ. People are constantly being told they need to be smart in order to succeed. There are students and adults right now thinking they’re not good enough because they’re not smart enough. I’m not saying that education isn’t a factor, but it’s not the only factor.
I’ve always believed anything is achievable with discipline. You have to want it! If you want something bad enough, if you know you can do it, you will do whatever it takes to make it happen. You will make yourself become so focused and try to eliminate any factors that distract you.
Theory on Where Grit Comes From
Angela mentions she doesn’t know what builds grit. I’ve noticed people with grit are the ones who are trying to prove they can do something, someone who is in a bad living or financial situation, or someone who doesn’t have the privilege of having both of their parents in their life. One of my favorite success examples is Oprah. Oprah grew up in the projects in Mississippi in the 1950s. She was mistreated and abused as a child, but that didn’t stop her from becoming one of the most successful women in America and also a billionaire. She didn’t let difficult circumstances stop her from achieving her dreams. That’s the main determinant of grit. People who don’t let anything get in their way. They let their situations drive them to work harder.
What to Remember
There’s a quote from Bill Gates, the owner of Microsoft, that surprised me it came from him, but it speaks volumes: “I failed in some subjects in exam, but my friend passed in all. Now he is an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft.” It shows that even the most successful people weren’t always successful, but they didn’t give up. You’re not always going to accomplish your goal the first time. There is going to be someone smarter or more talented than you, but grit outweighs talent and IQ. Remember that!
There’s no such a thing as failure. Everything is a learning experience. You might not like the outcome of the experience, but you will learn something from it, and you will continue to pursue it until you’re satisfied. Grit is knowing the end game of what you want and no matter what happens you’re focused on achieving that goal.