#1429 Modern Science Grit

Featuring Angela Duckworth and Caroline Adams Miller

In our last +1, we talked about Old School Grit.

More specifically, we celebrated Darrin Donnelly’s wisdom on the subject from his great book by the same name—which happens to be book #2 in his Sports for the Soul series.

Have you checked out our Notes on all of them?

I’m telling you…

Sports books are a GREAT way to share this wisdom with those who may not be as naturally inclined to geek out on such ideas! 🤓

Here are the quick links again: Think Like a Warrior, Old School Grit, Relentless Optimism, Victory Favors the Fearless, Life to the Fullest, and The Turnaround.

Today I want to connect that OLD SCHOOL GRIT to MODERN SCIENCE GRIT.

We’ll invite two of the field’s leading thinkers to join us: Angela Duckworth and Caroline Adams Miller.

Angela Duckworth is the leading researcher of grit.

As you know if you’ve been following along, she literally wrote the book on the subject.

Check out our Notes on Grit for more on the origin story of her research, the fact that EFFORT counts twice, and practical ideas on how to grow your grit.

For now, know that Angela tells us this: “Why were the highly accomplished so dogged in their pursuits? For most, there was no realistic expectation of ever catching up to their ambitions. In their own eyes, they were never good enough. They were the opposite of complacent. And yet, in a very real sense, they were satisfied with being unsatisfied. Each was chasing something of unparalleled interest and importance, and it was the chase—as much as the capture—that was gratifying. Even if some of the things they had to do were boring, or frustrating, or even painful, they wouldn’t dream of giving up. Their passion was enduring.”

She continues by saying: “In sum, no matter the domain, the highly successful had a kind of ferocious determination that played out in two ways. First, these exemplars were unusually resilient and hardworking. Second, they knew in a very, very deep way what it was they wanted. They not only had determination, they had direction. It was this combination of passion and perseverance that made high achievers special. In a word, they had grit.”

Thank you for your gritty work establishing the science of grit, Dr. D!

Seriously. 🙏 👏 !!!

Now it’s time to invite one of the leading practitioners helping us APPLY the science of grit to our modern lives.

Caroline Adams Miller is the author of a great book called Getting Grit.

In that book, she tells us: “Positive psychology’s Chris Peterson was fond of saying that thriving people are good at ‘struggling well.’ As we all know, life is full of challenges, particularly if we choose to set grand goals, but what separates people who don’t have grit from people who do is often this issue of working hard and overcoming difficulties without losing focus, equanimity, or passion—that is, struggling well. So, if you want to cultivate grit but you don’t have a constructive relationship with discomfort, failure, and delayed gratification, it’s imperative to find ways to make your peace with these conditions.”

She continues by saying: “One of the most intriguing findings in Angela Duckworth’s research on grit is that high-grit people hate hard work as much as those who don’t have grit. High-grit people simply accept hard work as the price they must pay to get where they want to go, and so they find ways to do it. As the late boxer and humanitarian Muhammad Ali put it, ‘I hated every minute of training but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”

That’s Today’s +1.

How’s YOUR grit?

Don’t quit.

Day 1. All in.


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