How do you achieve success consistently, in the long term? It may lie in one defining trait: grit.
Click start to play today’s Crossword, where we learn that it’s important to ‘try’ and try again, even in the face of failure and rejection.
In her book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, American psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth calls grit the “single trait in our complex and wavering nature which account for success”, arguably even more than inherent talent, ability and intelligence.
But what exactly is grit? She defines it as applying focused attention, resilience, perseverance and dedication to achieving long-term goals. According to an October 2023 report in US-based psychology news website Psychology Today, research has consistently shown that fortitude is a more powerful indicator of success than aptitude.
Here are five strategies for developing grit, according to Duckworth’s extensive research, which she outlined in her May 2013 TED Talk:
1. Find your passion
If you’re not passionate about something, it’s likely you won’t give it your all, and will eventually lose interest. What are you passionate about? Think of what you liked to do as a child, or in in your spare time – what holds your interest for hours and makes you happy.
Talent can give you a head start, but it only takes you so far. Whether you want to develop a new app, or climb a mountain, you’ll require practice. Consistent practice is also related to perseverance, which requires you to put in continued effort to achieve your goal, despite the difficulty.
3. Contribute to a greater purpose
Feeling a sense of purpose helps you develop more grit. When you know you’re having a direct impact in improving the lives of others, you’ll be more motivated to focus on your own goals and achievements.
4. Take your time
Long-term goals require patience. Those who have grit refuse to feel sorry for themselves, when they’re faced with failure – they act tenaciously, and when they recognise futility, they change course. But they always keep moving forward.
5. Immerse yourself
Surrounding yourself with other people who have grit is the best way to develop even more grit.