Why do some people succeed in almost everything they do?

And it seems it doesn’t have much to do with intelligence or talent.

Is there some secret that is hidden from us that we just don’t know about?

According to Angela Lee Duckworth a psychologist who has completed a 10 year study on predictors of academic and professional success, says the data clearly proved talent doesn’t really amount to anything.

It seems the most successful students and professionals possess one trait above all:

Grit…a strange 4 letter word that will bring success.

What is GRIT? Perseverance, determination, or strength of will?

  • It could be a willingness to see things through, without fear of failure or what others might think.
  • It could be seeing mistakes or failures as real growth opportunities.
  • It could be openness to feedback from others and not avoiding the ego pain.

Angela Lee Duckworth tells us from her research that many talented individuals do not have grit yet our ability to learn can change with effort. Learning to know that failure and setback is not a permanent condition is an excellent start.

This brings up the idea of either a fixed mindset: “I am the way I am because that’s how I was born.”Or a growth mindset: “I accept setbacks as part of growth and find a way around it.”

If we listen to our inner voice the person with a fixed mindset hears “I can’t do it” whereas the growth mindset hears “I can’t do it, yet“.

Josh Waitzkin, ex world chess master tells us from his own example of switching careers to achieve the highest level in martial art:

“The moment we believe that success is determined by an ingrained level of ability we will be brittle in the face of adversity.”

5 Ways to Develop Grit

  1. Encourage friendships with those who persevere – Develop connections and friendships with people who tend to persevere and are optimistic. Avoid the fixed view that talent and success is due to an innate ability.
  2. Examine your self talk – Even if you don’t succeed give yourself acknowledgement. If your inner voice says “I can’t do it!” Just add the word “yet!”
  3. Examine all entrenched thinking patterns – Being more flexible in thoughts and actions develops resilience and grit.
  4. Defining your purpose – your purpose can be difficult to define… Just a vague impression perhaps. To gain clarity, implement small steps in a direction that may align with your purpose, keep you purpose driven.
  5. Review each day – taking time to reflect on what has been accomplished builds circuitry in the brain and helps you stay clear and motivated to take on the world.