How can you maximize your chances of becoming successful? According to Angela Lee Duckworth, the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, the answer is quite simple: grit.
Duckworth defines “grit” as “the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals.” Her studies over ten years show that talent and intelligence / IQ do not always line up with success. In fact, her data tells us that “grit is either unrelated or inversely related to measures of talent.”
That means that what beats intelligence, knowledge and prior understanding is the ability to persevere when something isn’t working out. Take a moment to reflect and ask yourself these questions: “When was the last time I didn’t follow through with something because of failure? And more importantly, when was the last time I continued with something, even after failure?” The answers will give you some insight into how much grit you've got to work with.
Grit seems simple: it’s the work ethic behind your actions that dictates your success. Consistent work is more valuable than hard work alone. However, grit is not that easy to come by. The most common problem is giving up too easily and quickly, since it’s less painful than trying again and working even harder for what you want.
“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” - Stephen King