Towards the end of 2019, I was recommended to read ‘GRIT’ by Angela Duckworth. I absolutely loved reading and learning lessons from others in the business world.
The tag line of the book is: “Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success” and picking up GRIT was just the affirming and inspiring reading experience I had hoped for.
Duckworth is a psychologist and in ‘GRIT’ she explores the idea that success isn’t about talent as much as its about having GRIT (yes, capital letters); that is, your ability to strive to succeed, a vital combination of passion and perseverance, not just pure talent. GRIT suggests – no, proves – having innate talent doesn’t guarantee success and, in fact, it’s those who strive and work hard that tend to be more successful. As someone who isn’t exceptionally talented at, well, anything in particular, this makes perfect sense to me.
I believe one of the greatest reasons for our own success has been our strong perseverance, combined with what some might call luck. I’ve often said that one of the key attributes I look for in identifying talent is emotional resilience, but in future I’m going to rephrase that – to GRIT. The truth is that there are many, many talented people out there. But, the way the universe works, not everyone carries the GRIT to keep going. In my personal experience, it’s a mind over matter thing.
I encounter this again and again: serial “serialists”, these are the people who don’t have GRIT, who operate without needing to persevere. Looking from the outside in, they aren’t that hard to identify. Every couple of years they’ll be switch jobs, and every few years into a new relationship or new hobby. Whether it’s a temporary fishing, photography or running obsession is irrelevant. What is, however, relevant is the inability to stick to anything for a prolonged period.
Angela talks about this in her book, about how some people have 20 years of experience and while others have 1 year of experience, 20 times. It’s a book about how you hone your skillset and ensure that focus is at the heart of what you do.
So, rather than me continue to tell you about the book, make sure you pick up a copy, or as a bare minimum head over to the website to test your GRIT.