Nowadays, everyone wants to “hack success”. There are plenty of webinars and articles about how to become successful in a few short months.
Sorry to break it to you but there are no surefire ways to success. Instead, what I can offer are actionable steps you can take to build a characteristic that is a determining factor of success.
Some say, that certain individuals have natural-born talent, for example, Usain Bolt was born to run. The fastest man in the world would disagree with them.
In Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, the main factor of success – you guessed it – is grit. Basically, grit is someone’s ability to stick with a long-term goal and follow-through regardless of the sacrifice and hardship they endure. Success is within your reach if you work hard enough.
“Greatness is doable. Greatness is many, many individual feats and each of them is doable.” – Angela Duckworth, Grit
This information might not be new to you. We’ve all heard the countless motivational speeches about how hard work pays off. However, Duckworth provides extensive research to back this claim up. Here are my takeaways from her book:
- Stick to it like honey: When you commit to something, do whatever it takes to finish it. Everyone is a beginner, so it will be uncomfortable at first. Stick with it because the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
- Be a mad scientist and experiment: A professional swimmer doesn’t just know they are a swimmer. For many athletes, they tried different sports before they find what they love. This is true for your career. Take the time to try different things and seek your passion.
- Shake it off: No matter how good you are at something, you will eventually fail. Failure is not permanent. Don’t focus on the negativity of the situation, instead focus on what you can learn from the experience.
- Be strategic: You’ve committed to something, now it’s time to study your brains off. Wrong! Deliberate practice, which is being strategic with how you master your skill versus the number of hours performed, has proven to be far more effective.
As kids, we have the fortune of being curious and fearless. As we get older, we get hardened by the rejection and criticisms of people and experiences which prevents us from learning and taking chances. However, that is what grit requires. It requires all of us to step out, be vulnerable, ask for help, tough it out and do something others might not fully understand for a greater purpose. There are no shortcuts to success – just hard work and determination. Grit.