What I like about watching TED Talks videos is that they’re free and insightful! Some years ago, I’ve watched a TED Talk about grit by Angela Lee Duckworth. It made me what to read the book so I did. It opened my mind and I realized that one characteristic emerged as a significant predictor of success. It wasn’t social intelligence, it wasn’t good looks, physical health, and it wasn’t IQ. It was grit. Grit is defined as the courage and resolve, strength of character, and mental toughness. Whether in school, workforce, or business, being gritty gives you an advantage.
Grit is that ‘extra something’ that separates the most successful people from the rest. It’s the passion, perseverance, and stamina that we must channel in order to stick with our dreams until they become a reality. – Travis Bradberry
Fortunately, grit is a skill that can be learned and developed. So I asked myself, what is grit for me and how can I develop it to achieve success? Here’s what I come up with.
Daring to Go
It takes courage to start something. It all starts with action. You can’t get to where you want to be unless you take action. Be bold and take that first step despite any fears or worries you may have. Go and do it.
Knowing your Reason
What makes you want to do it? What’s your purpose? Knowing the answer would give you that drive to continue. When you have the reason for doing something, it makes it worthwhile, especially if that reason is larger than yourself. It’s like a calling. Having a calling in life propels you to be gritty, which in turn helps you to be successful.
Pursuing your Interest
“Do what you love and love what you do” is such a cliché, I know, but it’s true. When you pursue things that interest you, there’s a high probability that you’ll fall in love with that. It’s easier for anyone to learn and develop grit in an environment where he has the opportunity to do his interest. When you love what you’re doing, you’ll develop grit naturally because you’ll keep on doing what you have to until you achieve your goal, and the next goal, and the next goal.
Don’t throw the towel no matter what! Keep on keeping on. Be persistent. Persevere. Success isn’t a one-time event. Once you achieve it, you have to maintain it. As Arthur Ashe once said, “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” Be tenacious!
Since Angela Lee Duckworth inspired me in writing this, I’d like to borrow her words.
“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. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
I can see now why grit is an essential skill we can, and have to, cultivate in order to succeed in anything and everything we do. Be gritty, happy, and successful!