Thursday, November 7, 2013

Lion’s Den Blog – Grit… a component of the game
Cultivate your grit
Grit is that mix of passion, perseverance and self-discipline that keeps us moving forward in spite of obstacles. It’s not flashy, and that’s pre4cisely the point. In a world in which we’re frequently distracted by sparkly displays of skill, grit makes the difference in the long run.
Recently, a University of Pennsylvania researcher named Angela Duckworth measured the influence of grit on 1200 first-year West Point cadets before they began a brutal summer training course called the Beast Barracks. Before the course began, she gave the cadets a brief test: seventeen questions that asked them to rate their own ability to stick to goals, to be motivated by failure and to persist in the face of obstacles. It turned out that this test --- which took about two minutes to complete --- was uncannily accurate at predicting whether or not a cadet succeeded, far exceeding West Point’s complex set of predictive criteria, including IQ, psychological test results, grade-point average and physical fitness. The grit test has since been used to predict success in schools, business and a variety of other settings.

Grit isn’t inborn. It’s developed, like a muscle and that development starts with awareness. (A huge component in the game of soccer) To take Duckworth’s test, do a computer search for “Grit Survey”. Take the test and use your score as a way to reflect on the role of this quality in your life. For instance, when you hit an obstacle, how do you react? Do you tend to focus on a long-term goal, or move from interest to interest? What are you seeking in the long run? Begin to pay attention to places in your life where you’ve got grit and celebrate them in yourself and others.

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