What is grit?

March 30, 20220 CommentUncategorized

The concept of ‘grit’ has been extensively researched by psychologist Angela Duckworth, who more distinctly defines it as the “tendency to sustain interest and effort towards long term goals”. We can also describe grit as ‘mental toughness’. Issues like procrastination, being distracted by other tasks, abandoning your work halfway through, are all indicators that you are lacking in grit. 

While it can run parallel to ideas like resilience and perseverance, it also references the ability to honestly harness qualities like self-discipline and embrace a ‘growth mindset’ in order to see your goals through to the end. 

The topics of passion and perseverance come up a lot when discussing grit, as they thematically run parallel to each other in a lot of ways. In fact, in Duckworth’s words, grit is “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” Duckworth’s studies found that effort counted for double the value of talent, leading her to assert that passion plus perseverance is what results in achievement. 

Where perseverance is that which keeps you steadily moving forward despite setbacks – you can think of it as ‘failing forward’ – passion is the determination within you to do so. Also closely tied to the idea of ‘purpose’, passion refers to a clear emphasis on living in alignment with one’s beliefs and values. If you want to apply these concepts and principles in your own work ethic and approach to life, you can look to Duckworth’s two simplified formulas;

TALENT x EFFORT = SKILL

SKILL x EFFORT = ACHIEVEMENT

Duckworth’s research found that those who tend to succeed in life are differentiated by their possession of “grit” –  their ability to stick to long-term goals and continue on despite facing difficulty or setbacks. Her studies showed that grit was an essential element in reaching goals and obtaining achievements in life, and it’s commonly noted that grit is the best predictor of success that researchers have found.