Are you hungry for change–rapid change you can anchor in real success and then build more success on? Have you given it all you’ve got and mustered all the grit you could manage over what seems like a very long time? Are you not seeing the positive change you are working toward? Maybe you’re a bit like the hitchhiker in the illustration above, vehicle-less as night is closing in on the Road of Life and “Don’t Lose Heart” seems like an inadequate and heartless encouragement.
Others of us like you have searched for years, too. We’ve also paid for seminars, read books, worked on our habits, and hired coaches. We’ve also thought we were sufficiently “gritty.” The difference is that now we have grit in a context…and that has made all the difference. So I’m glad you found this!
Let’s explore what grit is and why we need it, but why it isn’t enough for success. Then I’ll tell you what DOES make grit work–how you can apply it most effectively inside a rich context of information, inspiration, training, and support. AND I’ll give you link so you can get started FREE the minute you finish reading this post.
Table of Contents
Why is GRIT important?
Using her lifetime of research, in May of 2016 psychologist Angela Duckworth published GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance to share what she’d discovered about the biggest predictor of success. In other words, she found sound psychological clues about why some of us are highly successful and why some of us aren’t. She chronicled how a wide variety of successful people powered themselves to success by combining the right kind of passion with the right kind of perseverance–her definition of grit.
She had started noticing what contributed to a child’s success during her first job as a math teacher, tracking behaviors inside and outside her classroom. She was so fascinated that she became a psychologist to further explore the extraordinary differences she saw even at that level, and published her decades of personal experience, research, and real-life control studies in this book. She also made available a tool much-used now. THE GRIT SCALE scores 12 questions–six about the level of passion and six about the level of perseverance someone has. Her contention is that you can grow grit by noting where to better focus your mindset and efforts.
We need GRIT even if it doesn’t get us far enough.
Duckworth makes a compelling case that these components of GRIT will power anyone to success. I’m sure you, like me, have done all of them to some degree or another.
- Show up. Even though grit can be inherited, no matter our inheritance or how gifted we are, we have to be courageous enough to begin a challenge and see it through with a never-give-up attitude.
- Emphasize hard work over talent. Know that success comes to those far less talented than others. Talent and tenacity are two different things. Even at the turn of the century, Harvard psychologist William James had observed that to become an exceptional individual we have to use our abilities and resources to the fullest.
- Make the effort because, even if talent helps you learn faster, it is effort that gains the skill. Duckworth concludes that the achiever needs struggle to achieve.
- Use THE GRIT SCALE to see where we stand.
- Have a long-term passion and interest in what you are doing. WE can look at it as a job, a career, or a calling no matter what we do for a living. We choose.
- Practice “deliberately.” Notice weaknesses in performance and consistently and systematically improve them.
- Benefit other people as well as ourselves by what we’re doing. Have an other-centered life.
- Have hope enough to overcome problems and failures by believing we can do something to improve the results.
- Be mentored by parents/coaches/guides who challenge and support with affection.
- Find other avenues where challenges are linked to enjoyment as you do what you do.
- Become part of a gritty culture that expects gritty personalities.
Duckworth says why GRIT might not work.
As you scan the above points, are you saying “I’m doing most of this. I could get better sure. But I’m clearly already gritty. So why am I not as successful as I want to be yet?”
Duckworth lists four reasons why GRIT might not work for everyone and gives her antidote for each one, even though she doesn’t tell you how to get the antidotes.
- Boredom. The antidote is to fan the passion for your interest. Passion has 3 phases: discovery development, and deepening.
- The reward doesn’t seem to justify the effort required. The antidote is to get the pleasure of mastering the skills and techniques involved. Swedish cognitive psychologist K. Anders Ericsson concluded that means practicing 10,000 hours over 10 years to achieve mastery.
- The idea or project is unimportant to the person. The antidote is to become other-centered, to find how your work or project helps other people.
- Lack of confidence. The antidote is to keep going even through rough times knowing that hard challenges are natural. Knowing that reality, pick ourselves up whenever the situation knocks us down. The Japanese word for this “continuous improvement” is Kaizen.
GRIT is not even the most important success component!
Even Duckworth admits at the end of her book that while GRIT is the best predictor of success, it isn’t everything.
I’ve been asked, on more than one occasion, why I feel grit is the only thing that matters. In fact, I don’t.
I can tell you, for example, that grit is not the only thing I want my children to develop as they round the corner from childhood to maturity. Do I want them to be great at whatever they do? Absolutely. But greatness and goodness are different, and if forced to choose, I’d put goodness first.
As a psychologist, I can confirm that grit is far from the only—or even the most important—aspect of a person’s character. In fact, in studies of how people size up others, morality trumps all other aspects of character in importance. Sure, we take notice if our neighbors seem lazy, but we’re especially offended if they seem to lack qualities like honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness.
So, grit isn’t everything. There are many other things a person needs in order to grow and flourish. Character is plural. One way to think about grit is to understand how it relates to other aspects of character. In assessing grit along with other virtues, I find three reliable clusters. I refer to them as the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and intellectual dimensions of character. You could also call them strengths of will, heart, and mind.
Intrapersonal character includes grit. This cluster of virtues also includes self-control, particularly as it relates to resisting temptations like texting and video games. What this means is that gritty people tend to be self-controlled and vice versa. Collectively, virtues that make possible the accomplishment
of personally valued goals have also been called “performance character” or “self-management skills.” Social commentator and journalist David Brooks calls these “resume virtues” because they’re the sorts of things that get us hired and keep us employed.
Interpersonal character includes gratitude, social intelligence, and self-control over emotions like anger. These virtues help you get along with—and provide assistance to—other people. Sometimes, these virtues are referred to as “moral character.” David Brooks prefers the term “eulogy virtues” because, in the end, they may be more important to how people remember us than anything else. When we speak admiringly of someone being a “deeply good” person, I think it’s this cluster of virtues we’re
And, finally, intellectual character includes virtues like curiosity and zest. These encourage active and open engagement with the world of ideas.
My longitudinal studies show these three virtue clusters predict different outcomes. For academic achievement, including stellar report card grades, the cluster containing grit is the most predictive. But for positive social functioning, including how many friends you have, interpersonal character is more important. And for a positive, independent posture toward learning, intellectual virtue trumps the others.Angela Duckworth GRIT, pp. 235-236
In the end, the plurality of character operates against any one virtue being uniquely important.
MKE gives us Duckworth’s antidotes and virtue clusters
So finally here’s what thousands of us across the world have found–and what you may be looking for. A six-month self-discovery experience called THE MASTER KEY EXPERIENCE helps gritty people hungry for positive change achieve the success that has eluded them. We take GRIT to a whole new level by providing a context for its growth and application.
MKE’s weekly college-level live classes effectively teach the best strategies from the past 4000 years for personal growth and business achievement. Each person gets his/her own Guide to assist in honing a Definite Major Purpose so s/he knows clearly the road, the strategy, and the tools to get there. Each person is assigned a smaller Master Mind group, a safe place to ask questions, share experiences, and get specific help. The previous class thought so much of the program that they “paid forward” a scholarship for you that you can apply for with just $1.
In this context, Duckworth’s antidotes are addressed. How to find your passion and fan it. How to develop the daily habits of mind, body, and spirit that support self-mastery and polish skills and techniques. How to become more other-centered. How to grow powerful self-confidence and expand comfort zones. How to strengthen the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and intellectual dimensions of character Duckworth mentions, in part by group exercises like the Franklin Makeover.
Want more proof? Check out my first blogs about the MKE when I got started. Check out what other first-year students had to say about the process at https://masterkeyexperience.blog as each one’s journey unfolded last session. Check out our certified, experienced Guides at https://whoarethebestlifecoaches.com/guide-council/ and read some of their blogs to see that this is the real deal and probably what you’ve been looking for.
Why not start today?
After decades of searching–I’m so grateful to be part of the Master Key Experience where we learn from others and 4000 years of wisdom all the ways to enrich our lives through taking GRIT to the next level by learning more about how it works best, masterminding with others about what’s working for them, and creating habits to make it flow continuously.
I understand if up till now you’ve not had something like this and have been missing out. I skimmed life, too. So if you’re ready to stop skimming and to join a powerful Master Mind of like spirits, we can help. On this website, put your name on the waiting list for the next Master Key Experience course, and then download and try one of our powerful tools: the 7-Day Mental Diet.
While you’re thinking about it, do two things now. (1) Put the MKE on your calendar for the last Sunday of September. (2) Start the 7-Day Mental Diet.
You know what they say–if not now, when? If not you, who? Enriching your life by taking GRIT to the next and most successful level is a key, and no one can get the key to YOUR experience but YOU. No one can get through what’s locking that door to your total effectiveness but YOU–it’s a YOU-shaped key. No one can make it work except YOU. And MKE can help you turn it in the lock!