Sunday, December 2, 2007

Go for the Grit

Positive psychologists search for variables that predict success. There are raw talent and ability, presumably immutable trait-like variables. But they fail to predict how some of us are able to turn lemons into lemonade, while others aren’t.

Grit, the combination of persistence and passion, seems to be something worth cultivating if you strive for success and greatness. Although the study of grit is still in its infancy, several possibilities have been offered as to how to facilitate its development in children. With a little tweaking, these suggestions are easily translated for adults.

Find your passion. Exposure to different experiences and possibilities can spark interest in one special area that may become your passion.

Forget balance. In today’s world, most of us strive to achieve balance among things like work, parenting, socializing and fitness, among other things. People who are high achievers and make brilliant contributions tend to be focused in one area.

Accept criticism. Trying to be less defensive and accept input from others may help you broaden your perspective. This might provide just the little nudge you need to get into something new and exciting.

Emulate successful models. Notice how others you admire have been able to accomplish things.

Challenge yourself. Identify what you want. Go for it.

Learn from failure. Although we tend to want to curl up and pull the covers up over our heads when things go wrong, don’t! Find a few things that help pull you up, and then analyze what went wrong.

Find your optimism. Think about the silver lining and success in the future. Set your goals high. Don’t dwell on the possibilities for failure. Don’t sell yourself short.

So it's a pretty long list. You don't have to do EVERYTHING. Just try a few things. Persevere. Stick to it. Go for the grit.

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