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Wikipedia’s meaning of grit is ‘perseverance and passion for long term goals’. This phrase seems to be more of a hard personality trait which can be the most valuable one when nurtured in our life’s success story. Angela Duckworth, a psychologist, made ‘grit’, the term of character trait, famous in her extensive research on its immense potential. She analysed different clusters of individuals from a diverse background. Her study has shown that persistent efforts with directed practise to hone a particular skill and focus towards a chosen goal can invariably lead to success more than just being talented or intellectually sharp. Having been born talented or born with an intelligent IQ is a blessing. But, if efforts are not enough to hone the ground talent, the talent remains unexplored and wasted. It’s a fact that not every one of us is equally gifted. But, yet, each one of us is born with this natural capacity of the inner strength of grit. Holding onto this innate capacity of grit can give us the courage to follow our dreams in the quest for success in life’s journey. To develop a skill or to unfold a success story, a mere talent or a sharp IQ is not enough. It is the continuous effort and perseverance to follow the passion and the learning from every failure that goes to make the person successful. Failures contribute more than success because, with each failure, you learn more and understand better.
Unlike animals or lower creatures, human beings are born knowing nothing. They are just born with only one ability that is to learn. It is this character trait to discover and learn more that goes to make the difference. The Japanese philosophy of Kaizen is prevalent and mainstream, not only in business but also in every sphere because it resonates entirely with self-improvement approaches. It says, success can be virtually ahead, if we organise us, with continuous and constant improvements in honing a skill directed towards a targeted goal. Therefore, grit outdoes talent.
The simple strategies that go to develop the capacity of grit: some of the outlines that Angela Duckworth ‘s book “Grit” has highlighted.
1. Understanding self, start questioning yourself. A self-analysis on what intrigues you the most, what exactly resonates with your personality and what gives us the ultimate joy in doing so. Understanding and acknowledging your inclination towards a passion is essential. When the clarity is centred, organising yourself or self-disciplining, building upon a growth mindset, the skills to develop, the strategies to follow, are the keys that are needed. Then, start building up short term goals and a greater purpose in this endeavour. Higher levels of goals, a greater purpose is co-related to the power of grit. Following a random passion, without any intention or targeted outcome is a hobby or a past time. So, a goal and a correct path are essential.
2. Strive to improve every day. Slowly, each day, taking one step ahead. Improving and progressing in polishing your skill is necessary. Competing yourself to perform better than your previous day’s progress. Pushing yourself each day to try adjusting the expertise. Each time, you fail, you learn and understand better. Though failures are frustrating at times, failures give you a lot of information and better feedback than anyone else. It helps you to reflect upon and try again. So, a continuous effort of deliberate practice is essential.
3. Building up a growth mindset is what matters the most. In a fixed mindset, you think that your abilities are firm, you are unable to grow further. You are what you are. That is how a fixed mentality functions which are not true at all. Even neuroplasticity says that the brain can change or undergo changes continuously irrespective of age. So, the brain has an enormous capacity to learn more and more and transform changes accordingly. So, it’s essential to practise and honing a skill which can bring out differences in the neural pathways.
4. Improve and boost your morale. With each time failing, your motivation levels dropdown. Your negative thoughts keep haunting you continuously. Sometimes, your confidence becomes so low that you find difficult to sustain. In such a case, use a past positive memory of a good learning experience where you felt proud of yourself as the guiding memory. This ‘feel-good’ factor will help you disrupt your negative thinking pattern and push you to focus back and continue learning and attaining the skill and help you for striving to succeed.
Thanks for reading.
Blessings and much love 💐