What’s the best predictor of success in a person’s life, including when it comes to goals in education? “Grit,” says psychologist Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth. Although not the only factor, Duckworth explains how important hard work is to overall success.
What is grit? Find out in her TED Talk, in which Duckworth explains that grit is a better indicator of personal success than IQ, family income and other factors.
What she said:
[03:01] – 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.
[04:08] – To me, the most shocking thing about grit is how little we know, how little science knows, about building it. Every day, parents and teachers ask me, “How do I build grit in kids? What do I do to teach kids a solid work ethic? How do I keep them motivated for the long run?” The honest answer is, I don’t know. What I do know is that talent doesn’t make you gritty. Our data show very clearly that there are many talented individuals who simply do not follow through on their commitments. In fact, in our data, grit is usually unrelated or even inversely related to measures of talent.
[04:52] – So far, the best idea I’ve heard about building grit in kids is something called “growth mindset.” This is an idea developed at Stanford University by Carol Dweck, and it is the belief that the ability to learn is not fixed, that it can change with your effort. Dr. Dweck has shown that when kids read and learn about the brain and how it changes and grows in response to challenge, they’re much more likely to persevere when they fail, because they don’t believe that failure is a permanent condition.
For more interesting studies Angela is involved in, visit her website https://characterlab.org/