Posts Tagged ‘grit’

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GRIT

In talks and lessons on August 23, 2013 by Jox Tagged: , , , , , , ,

“Hardwork beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”. – Tim Notke

SUCCESS- such a powerful word. The very promise of it serves as a key driving force to anyone. Who among you here think that they’ve made it because of intelligence? Hardwork? Guts? So many traits have been pointed out to determine success. Yet there is a key factor that contributes to success- GRIT.

“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals”. Abigail Lee Duckworth, a consultant turned public school teacher turned Psychology professor, studied the patterns of success among several subjects. What they found out was that it was not IQ, talent, or any genetic or circumstantial characteristic alone that lead to success. It’s about sticking to your goals and braving through obstacles. You may call it perseverance or resilience, only deeper.

I just watched the Apprentice Asia finale. It was down to two contestants. Andrea from Singapore who had a track record of winnings and Jonathan who remained persistent throughout. Jonathan won and he attributes his win to one thing: GRIT. His undying passion that remains inflamed in him.

Practice makes perfect. Rather, deliberate practice makes perfect. It takes 10,000 hours doing the same thing over and over again. This is what author Malcolm Gladwell in his book,Outliers, found out about the groundbreakers such as Mozart and even the Beatles. They relentlessly practiced and lived through their art. “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”(Duckworth et.al).

Life is a marathon. How many times have we heard this? We just don’t have one strand of motivation and end at the first pit stop. We continue riding with the highs and the lows. Grit as a virtue dates back to even Aristotle’s time. Historically, we know that as long as we live, we must not stop pursuing.  You remember the fable of the turtle and the hare. Potential-wise, the hare had a better chance. But he rested on his laurels and in the end, the persistent turtle won.

Success is not easy. I know that. YOU know that. It is not a linear path. It is actually messy but the key is to be consistent and never losing your eye on the prize.

“Our most important talent is having a talent for working hard” (Duckworth et.al). So be GRITTY and find your greatness.

*I delivered this entry as one of my speeches in Toastmasters. Winning Best Speech in that meeting was an added blessing.