how to build “grit” (or inner strength)

how to build “grit” (or inner strength)

It’s not always easy to be happy.

Happiness and health and wellbeing and success … they all take effort.

Those who enjoy more happiness and success don’t always have it easy … rather, they tend to have more ability to deal with life’s inevitable difficulties; to be more resilient; to have more “inner strength …

via the Ladders by Eric Barker

Ever feel like you just wanna give up on something? How can you develop the inner strength necessary to achieve your long term goals?

Turns out that grit — the perseverance that keeps us going — is a lot more important than you might think. In fact, it’s the best predictor of success among West Point cadets.

From Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us:

The best predictor of success, the researchers found, was the prospective cadets’ ratings on a noncognitive, nonphysical trait known as “grit”—defined as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.”

Stanford researcher Catharine Cox studied 301 eminent historical figures. What conclusion did she come to? Persistence beats smarts.

From Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance:

“…high but not the highest intelligence, combined with the greatest degree of persistence, will achieve greater eminence than the highest degree of intelligence with somewhat less persistence.”

So we all need more grit. But how do we get there? I decided to call an expert…

In 2013 Angela Duckworth was awarded the MacArthur “Genius” Award for her work on grit.

She’s a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. Here’s her TED talk:

Angela and I talked about the four things that lead to the development of grit — as well as a fifth element that’s a shortcut to the inner strength we all need to succeed.

Let’s get to it…

1) Pursue What Interests You

It’s hard to stick with something over the long haul if you don’t care. So the first step to grittiness is finding something that deeply interests you. Here’s Angela:

The first period is interest development — where you fall in love with something. You find that you’re thinking about it more and more.

So you need to sit back and ponder what you’re passionate about, right? Wrong. Angela says introspection is not the right path. You need to get out there and try stuff so you really know what’s perfect for you.

And once you think you’ve found something you’re really excited about, Angela recommends picking a role model or teacher to help you along.

When I spoke to her UPenn colleague, professor Adam Grant, he said a mentor is key to turning passion into skill. Here’s Adam:

…often interest precedes the development of talent. It’s having a coach or teacher who really makes something exciting to be involved in that leads you to put in the practice necessary to become an expert at it.

Alright, so you know what you want to be gritty at. What’s the next step?

…keep reading the full & original story HERE