“There are no shortcuts to excellence. Developing real expertise, figuring out really hard problems—it all takes time—longer than most people imagine. Grit is about working on something you care about so much that you’re willing to stay loyal to it. It’s doing what you love, but not just falling in love—staying in love.” – Angela Duckworth
What if doing well in school and life depends on much more than just our ability to learn quickly and easily?
Well, that’s just what Angela Duckworth, Ph.D., found in her groundbreaking research on grit over a decade ago! She studied everyone from grade school students to West Point Military Academy cadets—even partnering with private companies to explore who stayed and excelled in challenging roles such as sales.
Her work found that the most significant factor for success across settings wasn’t IQ, physical health, social intelligence, or good looks. It was grit!
In one study done with Chicago public school students, Angela found that kids scoring high on a grit scale questionnaire were significantly more likely to graduate—even when matched against characteristics like:
- Family income
- Standardized achievement test scores
- And even how safe kids feel when they are at school
Angela’s Ted Talk, featured at the beginning of this article, was filmed in 2013. Today, we know much more about grit and how to foster it in kids, adults, organizations, and communities.
How gritty are you?
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