3 Simple Rules That Help You Develop Grit
Growing up in the North of England in the 1960’s and 70’s grit was the all-important magic ingredient that enabled us to survive and flourish.
With it we could hang in there through the toughest times and pick our moments to be opportunistic and get ahead. We possessed an inner steel and the mindset of not accepting “our lot”, believing instead that we would shape our own destiny. We knew that grit was our energy source enabling us to run life’s marathon.
Years later in the ‘noughties’, American psychologist Angela Duckworth made ‘grit’ fashionable and famous with her definition of grit as the trait that
“helps us to view life as a marathon and not just the sprint.”
She conducted some groundbreaking studies in the New York public school system and famously the Westpoint Military Academy that reinforced our own experiences of growing up, namely that grit was the personality trait that determined career and life success.
Whilst some of us are certainly born and then fashioned by our childhood to be grittier than others, I believe grit can be developed with three simple techniques:
1. Find out what inspires you
Your early years should be full of adventure, trying anything and everything to find your “calling”. This is your passion, or multiple passions, something that inspires you to learn everything you can about it by reading, watching, learning, and working on it alone and with others. This “purpose” becomes your energy source and “sparkle”, it’s what gets you up in the morning. Having a passion and purpose means you are always on course because however bad times get you have a “shining light” and “safe haven”.
2. Be the best you can be
Having the goal to be the best you can be means you are on an exciting, never-ending, adventure to achieve your personal best. If you are passionate about something you will spend your time learning and practicing your skills to become better and better. This approach also strengthens your resolve and you start to adopt a gritty attitude, learning to use setbacks and failures as a spur to drive you on to greater heights.
3. Don’t give up. Never give up
Reinforce your grit by not giving up, not being beaten and not accepting defeat. If things go against you then resolve that it’s a temporary setback and that you will find another way to achieve your goals. This resolve is the glue that binds your grit together and makes it such a powerful magic ingredient.