Leadership

A psychologist says this is the formula for success

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If you're like most people, you weren't a child prodigy, and you don't consider yourself naturally gifted.

You may even think that means you can't achieve amazing things.

Turns out, talent by itself is only part of the reason people achieve success, according to psychologist and MacArthur "Genius" fellow Angela Duckworth.

Duckworth assembled the equation to success, based on years of teaching, coaching and research. She wrote about it in her book "Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance."

Here it is:

Talent x effort = skill

Skill x effort = achievement

So what does it mean? Skill, or how good you are at something, isn't just something you're born with. Skill is the product of talent or potential in something multiplied by how much effort you put into it.

Achievement or success is taking that skill and putting even more effort into it.

"Without effort, your talent is nothing more than your unmet potential," Duckworth writes in her book.

Angela Duckworth
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Angela Duckworth

When it comes to achieving something, effort is twice as important as any natural gift or talent. Here's what happens if you shift the equation around and apply the commutative property.

(Talent x effort) x effort = achievement

"Without effort, your skill is nothing more than what you could have done but didn't," Duckworth writes.