In a recent blog (“What does it Take to be Successful?” November 3, 2016), I began exploring the concept of grit --an important factor in success for educators and students (and parents, siblings, club members, etc.)
The good news is that grit is not fixed; we can grow it. In Grit by Angela Duckworth(2016), she concludes that four psychological assets are integral to developing grit:
Interest: Duckworth also uses the word “passion” to define “interest.” She describes passion as “sustained, enduring devotion.” (58) It is important for individuals to be intrinsically engaged in what they do. Well, that makes sense. As educators, we know that students who REALLY like something will be highly engaged in it and motivated to keep doing it.
Practice: Consider Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks coach, as he shares his philosophy: “Do things better than they have ever been done before.” (61) He and others persevere in the work they have chosen (their passion). They practice, practice, practice because they want to get better-- at something they really like.
Purpose: Individuals who engage in (practice) their interest/passion do so because “it matters.” They believe that their work is important to them and to others. They see a meaningful purpose in what they do.
Hope: Hope embodies/surrounds individuals with grit. They have an inner confidence in their ability to keep going. It is important to them and to others. They can make a difference.
Louis Pasteur wrote: “Let me tell you a secret that has led to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.” Sounds like he had grit.
So can you.
More about how to grow grit in yourself or in your students in a future blog.