I was interested to listen to the Ted talk of Angela Lee Duckworth a psychologist who looked at high achievers to find out what was common between them. She found something she calls the theory of ‘grit’. The bottom line is that she used a range of studies to predict those who would succeed and found the common thread was that the people with passion and perseverance were most likely to achieve. (Check out the talk https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_the_key_to_success_grit?language=en)
The theory goes that you need to have persistence that lasts for years and means that you are working at something consistently. It links to other theories that you have to do something for at least 10,000 hours to become an expert at it. You have to stick at it despite the obstacles and challenges.
There is more that is needed and that is to have a passion for what you do. In an interview today Angela was asked whether that verged on an obsession. She said ‘yes’ having this passion means you are thinking about the subject when you get up in the morning and it will be the last thing on your mind at the end of the day. You have to believe that what you are doing matters and that you are making a difference to people’s lives.
I love this theory and the idea. It means that we don’t need to have the best IQ or come from a privileged background; if we have passion and persistence we can be successful. This is worth considering for ourselves but also for future generations. It makes it even more important to find out what your passion is, and to ensure that you are working in that field. If you aren’t succeeding despite having passion and perseverance then perhaps it is not the right subject for you.
Being able to continue despite the challenges that life throws at you is important. It means having resilience and the ability to pick yourself up when you are being knocked down. You have an aim in sight and will battle to reach it. It has made me think about whether I have ‘grit’ or do I need to obtain it.