What sets high achievers apart? According to psychologist and “genius grant” recipient Angela Lee Duckworth, it’s ruthlessly pursuing a goal over time: grit, perseverance. This is the trait that, “as much as, or in some cases more than, talent can predict success in a variety of difficult situations” according to an December interview in Monitor on Psychology.
A Defining Factor of Grit is Perseverance: Perseverance in this case is defined by the ability and stamina to go after long-term goals. If you pride yourself on, say, resisting late-night snacks, but change your career goal every time you face a setback, grit is not your forte. Self-control, a more temporary concept, may be. (And yes, it’s possible to have both.)
You Can’t Have Grit Without a Goal: People who are gritty, Duckworth says, are hard workers who don’t see pursuing their goal as “work.” They value it deeply, believe that good things will come from achieving it, and don’t waste time second-guessing themselves or worrying about what they could be doing instead. In other words, if you find a goal you’re passionate about, the grit may follow.
There Are Ways to Boost Grit: One may be to practice looking on the bright side. Since grit usually involves overcoming obstacle after obstacle, pessimists are less likely to have it. Another may be to commit to committing. According to Duckworth’s research, showing up is indeed half the battle—if not more. “Woody Allen once said that 80% of success in life is just showing up,” she says. “And I think grit inclines individuals to show up for their commitments, and to keep showing up.”
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Article borrowed from Anna Medaris Miller, The Daily Muse