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True grit

What predicts success in school, work, and life?   Being smart or naturally talented helps, but it turns out that another quality, called grit, is even more important.

What is grit?  It’s the combination of persistence and passion.  It’s keeping your eye on the long-term goal as you make your way through frustrations, setbacks, and even failure.  It’s about picking yourself up and trying again, and again, and again if necessary in order to get where you want to go.

You aren’t born “gritty”, but with practice you can develop grit.  How?  By learning how to cope with failure.  And, fortunately for most of us, there are lots of opportunities to practice!  There’s something called the 10,000 hour, or 10 year rule – that’s how much time it takes to really become great at what you do.  You can’t put in that amount of time without experiencing set-backs and failures; it’s learning to cope with set-backs and failures that enables you to put in the 10,000 hours or 10 years of practice.

Learn more about grit by watching psychologist Angela Duckworth talk about what she has learned from her Grade 7 students and people who were highly successful in their field, in this 6-minute TED talk.

And here is another good short video featuring writer Paul Tough talking about how children succeed through struggle.

Want to read more about how grit is related to happiness?  Go to A growth mindset and/or Learning through failure.

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