Gritty people usually fare better in life since they pursue their objectives with greater passion and perseverance than most of us do.
The American academic psychologist and popular science author Angela Duckworth writes in her book Grit: Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success that talent can in no account be considered a precondition for success. For example, both stronger and weaker students tend to drop out of school for the same reason ‒ they take the easy way out. Not even a friendly atmosphere, supportive learning environment, or strong sense of duty can stop young people from leaving school. But grit can. There is plentiful scientific evidence to prove that.
Gritty people stand firm to their long-term goals as they are willing to push forward for days, months, and years, says Duckworth. Tiring and tedious work won’t stop them. New, exciting opportunities and current flows of thought won’t distract them. They have a vision, curiosity, and determination. That is why they keep going.
Grit is based on deep interest, deliberate practice, and purpose in life. Duckworth explains that interest arises gradually and moves then slowly from the charm of novelty towards more profound layers of understanding. Deliberate practice is necessary to learn new skills, and aiming high gives the gritty a perfect reason to rise above themselves. Setbacks never stop them from trying again because they firmly believe in themselves and their cause. After all, they never lose hope.
Is grit something we can grow? Apparently yes. Duckworth underlines that grit can expand either from the inside out or the outside in. In the first case, we let our inner motivation help us develop our skills and fulfill our purpose without any help. In the second case, we let your family, colleagues, and/or mentors encourage us and inspire us to move on against all odds.
So the answer to the question of what’s grit got to do with learning is – everything! Let a poem by Duckworth about “the challenge of writing” prove it to you.
By Triin Lingiene