Grit

“Do not judge me by my successes,

judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

 

~Nelson Mandela

Grit

"Firmness of mind or spirit: unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger"

Merriam-Webster, n.d.

“Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.” This quote is from Angela Duckworth, a renowned psychologist most notable for her research over grit, is one of my favorites. The quote's simple, yet an unerring illustration of what sets apart good from great. Most people eventually discover what they are passionate about, but few seem willing to stick with it. In other words, they fail to persevere when times get tough - they are lacking grit.

 

In Duckworth's book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,  she defines grit as the both the discovery of ones passion coupled with an unyielding perseverance over the long-term to achieve a certain goal. As a teacher, I view one of my most important responsibilities to be helping my students develop grit in all aspects of life. Helping them find their passion is important, but having the strength and courage to stick with a passion during times of struggle is paramount.

 

This is easier said than done. However, I try to stress to my students that any achievement - big or small - is one to be celebrated. By demonstrating daily discipline on trying to do better today than they did yesterday, then they are building true grit. True grit, then, is ripened by consistently exhibiting perseverance over the long haul - keeping in mind that failure will happen, and success does not come without a struggle.

 

"At various points, in big ways and small, we get knocked down. If we stay down, grit loses. If we get up, grit prevails."   ~Angela Duckworth