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  • I define grit as the combination of perseverance and passion for a very long-term, meaningful goal.

  • By perseverance, I mean working hard, finishing what you start even though you might encounter setbacks.

  • An then I define passion as having an internal commitment to something that doesn't waver,

  • that you wake up and think "I'm still interested in this."

  • Not only the next day or the next week, but months or, in the case of adults, maybe not

  • young people, but in adulthood even decades.

  • So this combination of perseverance and passion is to me an important determinant of achievement,

  • but it's not all of character.

  • Character is much broader, and yes it includes grit but also things like curiosity and gratitude

  • and all the things really that make us people who are leading lives that are helpful to

  • ourselves and helpful to other people.

  • In my research studies, I find that grit is very very different from talent or IQ.

  • In other words, it's not that if you know how gritty someone is, you know how smart

  • they are and vice versa.

  • In most of my research studies, I find that grit and measures of talent are really unrelated

  • and that actually emphasizes why grit predicts achievement in situations like graduating

  • from high school, or finishing training at West Point, or winning the national spelling

  • bee.

  • It's because talent is not enough to achieve our goals and our dreams it is also important

  • to sustain hard-work and to sustain our commitment, our interest in things over long periods of

  • time.

  • I like to tell my own kids that grit is not a guarantee of success, and by that I mean

  • that even if you are the grittiest person at the try-outs for the basketball team or

  • the grittiest person in math class, it's not a guarantee that you're gonna be number one.

  • That's because lots of things are gonna determine what happens.

  • I mean, talent does matter.

  • It's not that your talents don't matter at all.

  • Also, there's luck in life.

  • I mean, there's a lot of luck in life.

  • So I don't think we ever want to tell kids, "Oh, if you do this, if you become grittier,

  • all of your problems will be solved."

  • I don't think that's the message of maturity and character development.

  • I do think it is about taking pride in the kind of person you're becoming.

  • And yes, if you are grittier and you work harder, your odds of being successful and

  • achieving what you want are certainly greater.

  • It's very important when you think about character strengths like grit to acknowledge in the

  • most profound way the environment that kids are in.

  • I don't think the message of grit is that kids who are growing up in poverty who are

  • confronting racism or lack of opportunity in the myriad ways that society is serving

  • that up these days,that these realities don't exist.

  • In fact, I think structural barriers to opportunity are in part what undermines the development

  • of resilience and grit.

  • If you have no reason to believe that working hard is going to pay off, then guess what?

  • You will not develop a work-ethic.

  • So I think there is nothing more important than working on structural inequality.

  • At the same time, when a parent comes to their house, they have their kids in front of them

  • and, I think, at the same time as we have to acknowledge these structural barriers,

  • we have to say, "What can I do?"

  • I say to my own kids, you know, life isn't entirely fair, some kids re going to have

  • many fewer opportunities than you have.

  • You may have fewer opportunities than another person that you meet.

  • At the same time as acknowledging those structural realities, you do have to do what you can

  • do.

  • And in many cases, that does mean within the realm of what you can do, working as hard

  • as you can, taking feedback, seeing what you can learn from the day you had.

  • I believe that character strengths, like grit and not just grit, are malleable, that they

  • can be learned, that they can be encouraged.

  • In particular, when I think of kids, I think of how parents can help their kids develop

  • character strengths, like grit.

  • One very important thing that parents are doing, in fact they don't even need to be

  • told to do this because they're already doing this, is to model for their kids.

  • Now, whether you're thinking that you're modeling or not, you are because your kids are watching

  • you.

  • How you treat other people and how you, for example, in the case of grit, respond to failure,

  • respond to setbacks, your kids are watching, they're taking cues on what the right thing

  • to do is in most cases.

  • So for example with my own kids, who are 17 and 15, they were younger when I was writing

  • the book "Grit."

  • And they saw mommy cry a lot, they saw mommy complain a lot, they almost saw mommy throw

  • her laptop into the Atlantic ocean but that didn't quite happen.

  • The thing is that I don't you're modeling invulnerability.

  • I don't think you're modeling perfection.

  • I think what you're modeling is falling down and getting back up again.

  • And having the feeling that you're not perfect but you can keep trying and that no matter

  • what happens will learn something and make some kind of forward momentum.

I define grit as the combination of perseverance and passion for a very long-term, meaningful goal.

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B1 US grit modeling character structural talent perseverance

All About Grit | Angela Duckworth

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    蔡育德 posted on 2020/01/11
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