A Key Piece to the Pie That’s Forgotten About Most
I don’t want this to be just another article.
I want it to reach those people who have landed a desirable job, but seem to be the one getting stuck while your peers are jumping over hurdles.
You know you are smart as or perhaps smarter than they are. But they are soaring, experiencing high performance levels and you are not.
Being puzzled by this you are asking why.
It’s not based on intelligence, according to Professor Angela Duckworth.
Brains aren’t everything, but in this scenario, grit is.
Grit is the distinct combination of passion, resilience, determination and focus that allows a person to maintain the discipline and optimism to persevere in their goals even in the face of their discomfort, rejection and a lack of physical progress for years, even decades.
People with grit not only hold on in the rough times but also arise stronger with greater performance.
Holdups don’t hold them down.
They are determined.
Associated closely with grit are concepts such as hardiness and the ability to overcome insurmountable obstacles.
Research shows grit can be a better predictor of long-term success than IQ. Intelligent people stop where gritty people continue.
A cross-sectional study by Suzuki, et. al. (2015) examined the association between grit and work engagement, which was considered as an outcome indicator for work performance. Their analysis revealed that grit was a strong predictor for work and academic performance.
In another study across a wide variety of roles including sales, marketing, client services, finance and human resources, people who were grittier had higher self-rated performances according to the University of Sheffield.
In essence, people with grit stay at their jobs longer, work harder and are more committed to their employers.
Building grit helps improve your morale, motivation and feelings of competence.
Building grit gets you unstuck.
Here are 3 researched ways Duckworth says will help you get there.
1. Interest development. You simply have to get out there and try different things to learn what’s perfect for you. And when you do, you will find that you’ll be thinking about it often. At work you may be thinking of different ways to complete an assignment or to do your work in ways to lessen repetition and boredom. Try diverse ways to get charged. Discover what works for you.
And when you’ve found a system that you’re really excited about, choose a role model and mentor to help you.
Adam Grant confirms, “…often interest precedes the development of talent. It’s having a coach or teacher who really makes something exciting to be involved in that leads you to put in the practice necessary to become an expert at it.”
2. Deliberate practice. Duckworth suggests developing a capacity to practice hard, systematic and purposeful. While regular practice might include mindless repetitions, deliberate practice requires focused attention and is conducted with the specific goal of improving performance. It requires sustained effort and concentration. When you work over and over at accomplishing something, you will improve.
When I researched deliberate practice I came across James Clear’s article on A Beginner’s Guide to Deliberate Practice. I believe you’ll find it helpful.
3. Meaning and purpose. Workers who build grit find meaning in what they do. Meaning includes how important it is to other people as well. In her study of 16,000 people Duckworth discovered that grittier people are dramatically more motivated to seek meaningful, other-centered lives.
Quoting from her book, Duckworth says,
What ripens passion is the conviction that your work matters. For most people, interest without purpose is nearly impossible to sustain for a lifetime. It is therefore imperative that you identify your work as both personally interesting and, at the same time, integrally connected to the well-being of others.
I totally agree with Duckworth that gritty people see their work as a calling, not just a job. (I talked about the reframing your thoughts about work in this article).
And when you help others through your work, it makes you love what you do, gives you high levels of job satisfaction and builds and expands your levels of grit.
Call To Action
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