How to Grow Grit

Jann FreedLeading, Sage-ing Leave a Comment

This post is for anyone and everyone who wants to understand the qualities that lead to outstanding achievement.  It is written for anyone who wants to work smarter or live better.  Read on to learn how to grow grit.

According to research, Angela Duckworth concludes in her book GRIT:  Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success that talent is overrated and resilience is underrated.  But the good news is we can grow in grit and she describes how to do this.  What is most interesting is that grit can grow with maturity and life experience.  This reinforces the research in the area of sage-ing or positive aging.  Duckworth says it this way:

“Over time, we learn life lessons we don’t forget, and we adapt in response to the growing demands of our circumstances.  Eventually, new ways of thinking and acting become habitual.  there comes a day when we can hardly remember our immature former selves,  We’ve adapted, those adaptations have become durable, and finally, our identity–the sort of person we see ourselves to be–has evolved.  We’ve matured … Grit is not fixed.  We can get grittier as we get older.”

Who comes to mind when you think of people who have grit? 

Duckworth identifies four ways to become grittier and she says the order is as follows:

  1.  Interest.  Passion begins with enjoying what you do and this starts with finding an interest.
  2.  Practice.  Be disciplined and driven to want to do things better every day.  Focus on your interest, be determined to improve, and use feedback to get better with practice.
  3. Purpose.  Believe the interest you are pursuing through practice matters.
  4. Hope.  This is not the last stage of grit, but “it defines every stage.”  When the going gets tough, hope keeps you going and gets you through the challenges.

If you want to grow in grit, it is possible.

“The four psychological assets of interest, practice, purpose, and hope are not You have it or you don’t commodities.  You can learn to discover, develop, and deepen your interests.  You can acquire the habit of discipline.  You can cultivate a sense of purpose and meaning.  And you can teach yourself to hope.”

Do the people whom you identified as having grit have a strong interest that they are willing to practice and that has meaning and purpose for them?

I find this book intriguing because as we get older, it is critically important to become more resilient–to be grittier.  As I said in my last blog post, there is something to be gained by reading this book for everyone who wants to keep learning and growing.  “You can grow your grit from the inside out,” says Duckworth.

If you want to know how to do this, watch for my post next week.

How resilient are you?

Do you have an interest that you are practicing that has purpose for you?

Is the glass half full or half empty for you?