In this brief TedTalk (approx. 6 minutes), psychology researcher Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth explains her theory of “grit” as a key predictor of success in life.
“In all those very different contexts, one characteristic emerged as a significant predictor of success. And it wasn’t social intelligence. It wasn’t good looks, physical health, and it wasn’t IQ.
“It was grit.
“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day-in, day-out. Not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years. And working really hard to make that future a reality.
“Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
For the most part, I’ve lived by the maxim that says if you don’t like something in your life, change it. Don’t complain about it. Don’t blame someone else for it, and don’t merely tolerate it. Instead, get busy, and get to work doing all you can to change it. It’s a strategy that’s paid off for me time and again, and I highly recommend it for most of the troubles life sends your way.
“This isn’t working,” said the voice inside my head. “You’re not doing it right. If you paint over it now, it’s just gonna peel again in a year or two, and you’ll have to repaint it. You’re wasting your time.”
“You’re right,” I thought. “I’m really frustrated, and I just want to quit.”
It’s 5:30 on Sunday morning. Barely awake, I hear someone clomping down the wood-floor stairs in our home. It’s my 19-year-old daughter, Haley. Seconds later, I hear the back door slam. Curious, I roll out of bed, stumble to the window and watch as she hops into her little s-10 pickup and pulls out of the driveway.
You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.