Angela Duckworth wrote the book, Grit the Power of Pasion and Perseverance, after teaching in the New York Public school system and realizing it was not those that were the smartest or had the best IQ’s that succeeded, but those that had the tenacity to succeed, so she went back to graduate school to study this concept and then wrote her book. This article in INC. by Travis Bradberry, the author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 brings home her key concepts. The eleven signs that you have the grit to succeed are:
1. “You have to make mistakes, look like an idiot, and try again, without flinching
2. You have to fight when you feel defeated
3. You have to make the calls you are afraid to make
4. You have to keep your emotions in check
5. You have to trust your gut
6. You have to give more than you get in return
7. You have to lead when no one else follows
8. You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that exceed expectations
9. You have to focus on the details even when it makes your mind numb
10. You have to be kind to people that have been rude to you
11. You have to be accountable for your actions, no matter what”
“The good news is any of us can get grittier with a little extra focus and effort”
In my blog on February 15, 2016 I shared with you commentary from Dr. Richard Davidson on how our brain focuses on four areas for wellbeing according to neuroscience. He offers that the four keys to wellbeing are resilience, outlook, attention and generosity. Think of these four keys related to the eleven signs of grit. I see a major tie in. We want to cultivate these positively in ourselves and in others don’t we? You want to succeed and you want your team to succeed don’t you? What does that mean?
Consider resiliency, outlook, attention and generosity and look at these 11 items above again. Dr. Davidson defined resiliency as “the rapidity at which you recover from adversity”. Consider your own ability to do this and that of others. Cultivate and encourage this in yourself and others. Don’t coaches cheer on their teams? Of course they do. “When the going gets tough the tough get going”. Encourage yourself and encourage others. When you are encouraging others and using your time to do this you are being generous with your time. Others notice. They may not say it, but they appreciate it.
Each day you can decide to make the most out of today or not. You can look in the mirror or on your morning trip to work consider and reflect on your blessings. Think about your blessings in terms of being alive, being able to breath, being able smell, taste, touch, see and hear. Consider your faith, forgiveness, family, friends, health, laughter, learning, food, culture, sleep, a place to sleep, sharing, clothing, shelter, hugs, music, exercise, nature, second chances, employment, school, teachers, coffee, coffee shops, socializing, dishes to do, laundry to fold, a place to clean, farmers markets, the ability to love and be loved, and finally the joy of so many little things and being able to be thankful. When you consider these things this may help with a positive outlook. As an alternative consider starting your day by taking three to five minutes of jotting down what you are grateful for each day.
In order to accomplish anything we have to focus our attention on the activity. Our brains do not really multitask. Our brains only do one thing at a time. Those with grit force themselves to focus. Multitasking is not healthy. Forcing ourselves to focus on a given task allows us to complete the task timelier. We need to set up ourselves for success by focusing on a given task at a given time and avoid interruptions. We need to encourage this in others as well.
By looking out for others and being more altruistic this actively enhances wellbeing. Exploring this concept relative to the eleven signs of grit above it is clear that the gritty person keeps negative emotions in check, gives more than is received in return, steps up when no one else will, under promises and over delivers, remains kind in trying circumstances, and is accountable no matter what. There is no blame. Rather there is where do we go from here, and what do we need to do next. How can I help?
Reading this article today caused me to reflect on the commentary from last week’s blog offered by Dr. Davidson and want to share with you that these eleven signs can be cultivated in all of us and have a very strong correlation towards our own wellbeing. Enhance your own grit and your ability to succeed.
Feel free to share this with others.
About the author
Mike Gregory is a professional speaker, an author, and a mediator. You may contact Mike directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and at (651) 633-5311. Mike has written 12 books (and co-authored two others) including his latest book, The Collaboration Effect: Overcoming Your Conflicts, and The Servant Manager, Business Valuations and the IRS, and Peaceful Resolutions that you may find helpful. [Michael Gregory, ASA, CVA, NSA, MBA, Qualified Mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court]