Grit encompasses perseverance, passion, and unwavering commitment to long-term objectives.
The author, a professor and a psychologist, noticed her best students didn't necessarily have the highest IQs, and many of the students with the highest IQs were performing poorly. This led her to question the role of innate ability and success.
Research shows that although we claim to value hard work, we have a bias towards natural talent.
Surveys in the United States reveal that around 66% of respondents believe hard work is crucial for success.
In a study with musicians, when they listened to two piano recordings -- one attributed to natural talent and the other to years of hard work -- the musicians overwhelmingly chose the supposedly talented musician even though the recordings were from the same piece by the same musician.
Effort not only leads to skill but also to results, making it twice as important as talent.
Talent * Effort = Skill
Skill * Effort = Results
"As much as talent counts, effort counts twice."
The author developed the Grit Scale, which is a questionnaire that measures your grit.
Athletes, even if naturally talented, must dedicate themselves to practice and skill development to succeed.
John Irving, an award-winning writer, overcame his dyslexia and poor grades in school through sheer effort and working twice as hard as his contemporaries.
Mozart practiced 8 hours a day as a child.
Research shows the top performers in spelling bees didn't have the highest verbal IQs. However, they measured the highest in grit.
The talent mindset can result in a narcissistic and unproductive work culture. At Enron, the emphasis on appearing smart fueled competitiveness and short-term gains, neglecting long-term growth and commitment. Enron's extreme practice of annually firing the lowest-performing 15% perpetuated a culture that rewarded deception and discouraged integrity.
It is important to have long-term goals to inspire you. It is even more important to incorporate small daily tasks to help sustain effort and progress towards the larger aspirations.
Without setting and pursuing small incremental daily targets (e.g., make 9/10 free throws everyday, if you want to be a basketball player), the ultimate objective will remain elusive.
Research shows that people are happiest when their work involves their personal interests. However, today's generation often holds impractical beliefs about finding a perfect match, whether in careers or relationships.
It is important to practice deliberately and intelligently, where specific goals and close attention to details are maintained. Merely putting in long hours of practice on autopilot without strategy can lead to disappointing results.
Finding meaning or purpose in your work can be a powerful motivator.
Research suggests that viewing your work as a calling to help others leads to greater happiness.
"Three bricklayers are asked: ‘What are you doing?' The first says, ‘I am laying bricks.' The second says, ‘I am building a church.' The third says, ‘I am building the house of God.' The first bricklayer has a job. The second has a career. The third has a calling."
To ensure future success, teachers and parents should prioritize rewarding hard work over natural talent.
"Knowledge is Power" is a school program in which teachers are encouraged to reward students for hard work (e.g., complimenting students by calling them good learners instead of saying "you're a natural"). The program showed significant academic improvements among participants.
Research suggests that a two-year commitment to a specific activity improves children's grit.
Research indicates that when teachers focus on ranking students based on grades, children tend to adopt a fixed intelligence mindset (i.e., "I can't improve due to my limitations") and prefer safe, unchallenging tasks. Similarly, parents should avoid associating low grades with inherent intelligence and instead instill in children the value of hard work.
Finland, known for its long winters and historical challenges, embraces the concept of grit, or "sisu" in Finnish, which has become an integral part of their culture.
Research shows that 83% of Finnish people believe grit is a learned trait rather than an innate quality.
Surrounding yourself with gritty people. Exposure to people who model passion, perseverance, and determination can influence and motivate you. Their grit can rub off on you.