B1 Intermediate US 27 Folder Collection
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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.
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All About Grit | Angela Duckworth

27 Folder Collection
蔡育德 published on January 11, 2020
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