Script & Storyboard
Grit is a combination of character traits, such as self-control, passion and perseverance. [1] Many modern psychologists, educators and parents now believe it's more important for success in life [2] than good grades at school [3] or an outstanding intelligence[4]
At a Stanford experiment in the late 1960s psychologist Walter Mischel put kids in front of one tasty marshmallow. [1.1] The 4 year old children were then promised another one if they had enough willpower not eat the one in front of them. [1.3] Then they were left alone for 15 minutes. Some kids hid below the table. [2] Those who were able to delay their gratification, got a second treat and many years later became more accomplished adults. [3] They were more healthy, [4.1] had higher test scores at school [4.2] and were socially more competent. [4.3] Professor Mischel and the marshmallow test became famous. [5]
Angela Duckwort, a popular psychologists, later invented the so-called Grit-Scale, a questionnaire to predict success. [1] One question: Do I finish what I began? She then interviewed gifted business woman, accomplished scientists and other successful people. [2] She found out that self-control, passion, and perseverance were better indicators for success than a high IQ score or fine genes. [3]
Let's examine the reasons behind this. [1] Passion leads us to pursue careers that we love. [2] Once we love something, we work hard to succeed and as a result can reach excellence [3] Self-control allows us to wait even if something looks very attractive. [4] This is important because one day, a better option might present itself [5]. And perseverance means we keep fighting despite obstacles [6]. It’s essential to complete projects [7] that then grow our self-confidence through social recognition. [8]. The most gifted minds can't even start, if they lack passion and inspiration. [5]
One way to develop grit is to realize that we can eliminate our weaknesses with practice. [1] We can learn a new thing by practicing long enough to see actual progress. [2] But we can also study the lives of our role models. [3] Then we understand that football stars train every day and receive constant feedback from professional coaches to develop specific skills.[4]
Once we internalize that we can improve our skills, we might realize that we can also practice willpower. [1] For example, to change to a vegetarian diet is hard. [2] But if you start small and try to cut out beef every Sunday, [3.1] you might soon realize that you can also skip chicken during the week. [3.2] And when that happens, you experience that you can grow will-power like any other muscle in your body. [4] Then anything is possible, even to become a vegetarian. [5]
When we experience that our brain is like any other muscle that grows with training, then willpower and self-control are just a matter of practice. [1] And once we practice something long enough, it can become a habit or even our passion.[2] Some 2,000 years ago Aristotle supposedly wrote: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." [3] Maybe he was right. What do you think about Grit?