What really drives success is a combination of passion and long-term perseverance
Psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people, that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.”
As Duckworth defines it, grit is passion and sustained persistence applied toward long-term achievement, with no particular concern for rewards or recognition along the way. It combines resilience, ambition, and self-control in the pursuit of goals that take months, years, or even decades.
These include the commitment to finish what you start, to rise from setbacks, to want to improve and succeed, and to undertake sustained and sometimes unpleasant practice in order to do so.
Want to find out how gritty you are? Take Duckworth’s Grit test; a 10-question survey you can easily fill out online.
Effort counts twice
Duckworth’s theory is that talent multiplied by effort yields skill and that skill, multiplied by effort, yields achievement.
In her recent book, Angela Duckworth talks about the myth of “the natural.” Yes, it’s true that the Mozart and Michael Phelps of the world were likely born with some genetic advantages for music or swimming but natural talent does not automatically yield achievement.
Talent × Effort = Skill
Skill × Effort = Achievement
In other words, every effort counts two times, or in Duckworth’s turn of phrase, “effort counts twice.”