Dr. Duckworth author of, Grit believes that effort is so important in one’s success that it actually factors in twice to the success formula. You see, one cannot have true skill without applying some effort to obtain skill. And at the same time additional effort will make that skill productive. Potential means nothing in the end without a lot of effort to build that skill and then use that skill through effort for however long it takes to win, which by the way, builds even more skill. In Grit, Dr. Duckworth says that she is finding it more satisfying in sticking with something for as long time in order to become an expert who can see and do what the ordinary cannot than to continuously keep starting over as a newbie with potential.
In 1940 Harvard University began what is today the longest study ever conducted on human development. George Valliant, continues to this day, to follow up on the men that took his 1940 treadmill test that was designed to physically and mentally punish them regardless of their level of talent of fitness. In the many decades that followed, he found the ones that pushed through the pain the longest ended up being better psychologically adjusted throughout their adulthood than the others who had quit earlier.
Oh, by the way, modern day mega blockbuster, Hollywood superstar Will Smith says that he is no more talented than anyone else. However, he is willing to die on that treadmill before he’ll let his competition force him off of it. Do you think Will Smith might know a little something about the Harvard treadmill test study that began way back in the 1940s? How about grit?
You see, in the end, the evidence appears to be overwhelming that consistency of effort over the long run is everything. And sadly, we tend to quit too often and too soon. Let’s try to be a little grittier and let’s stick it out a little bit longer. Who knows what might happen if we do?
The good thing here is that grit isn’t fixed. We can actually develop grit and develop more grit if we’re already a little gritty. However, in order to develop this grit we need to develop an interest. Not find an interest mind you, but to develop one. Next, we have to use our capacity to practice, then become purposeful, and finally never lose hope. Basically, it all comes down to the fact that if we get knocked down and we stay down, grit loses. If we get back up, grit wins.
Do you get up time after time?
Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. You can learn more about him at: www.GranddaddysSecrets.com.