In How We Learn To Believe In Ourselves, Anna Woodhouse writes, “Grit is more important than intelligence, or talent, or even wealth in determining success.”
What is grit? “Grit is about the ability to pursue long-term goals and to stick with things.” It may be loosely correlated with self control. There may even be a genetic component to “developmental plasticity” (Is this the same thing as resilience? Do I have my terms right?
It seems to be more than just perseverance. So many questions: Is grit situational? Am I gritty overall? Or just gritty at certain things?
PERSONALITY PROCESSES AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals Angela L. Duckworth University of Pennsylvania
Grit is what hones the performing edge.
Sports psychologists are always curious about the constructs of individual success and the question of “how did you achieve that (when those better trained or more genetically endowed did not)?” In the sports realm gain we spout the same conclusions. Craziness (which must surely mean passion), willingness to take on challenges, planning/ training, clearly defined objectives. But perhaps with these answers we are missing the overall concept of grit. Physically difficult workouts test our grit. But benign exercises like sitting in a chair doing visualisation build our grit, too.
You might know by now that I enjoy long distance running.
Once in a while I participate in 100k, 100 mile races. I’ve read plenty of egotistical race reports that say things like, “I am super talented and was in the best shape of my life! I was in the lead with xx miles left to go, then I ran into problems and did not finish. <Insert excuses which may or may not be valid>. Poor me!”
I’m not always empathetic. Again:
“Grit is more important than intelligence, or talent, or even wealth in determining success.”
Finally, I think grit is the all-encompassing of these ill-defined and not easily measured ideas of motivation, confidence, endurance, perseverance, resilience, tenacity, fortitude… I think grit is an innate personality trait, like leadership, that is refined with experience (ahem, maturity). I think grit rewards itself in a positive reinforcement cycle. It’s a strength that is not easily injured or lost, because it’s not a physical thing. It’s a secret skill concealed in your head.
Then again, I’m not an expert on this.
Are you gritty? Test yourself at University of Pennsylvania’s online grit scale test if you are so inclined.