When it comes to the goals you most want to achieve in your career, do you have the passion and perseverance to create the kind of success you’re longing for? Perhaps you’re hoping to land the job of your dreams, be recognized as a leader in your chosen field, or just able to show up each day in ways that bring you meaning and happiness.
Researchers have found that when it comes to successfully achieving our long-term goals, there’s one quality that distinguishes world-class performers. That quality is grit.
“Gritty individuals approach the journey to mastery like a marathon rather than a sprint and this fuels their stamina to practice their talents over and over and over again,” explained Associate Professor Angela Duckworth when I recently interviewed her.
Angela defines grit as the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals. It entails working consistently toward challenges and being able to maintain interest and effort over the years despite failures, set backs and plateaus in progress.
Whereas most of us take disappointment or boredom as signals that it’s time to change our approach and cut our losses, people with grit take these signs as the moment when they need to stick with it and truly show up. Her research has established the predictive power of grit, over and beyond measure of talent, for objectively measured success outcomes.
While much is still being learned about grit, Angela suggests four things you can do to improve your levels of grit:
As Woody Allen once noted: “Eighty percent of success in life is showing up.”
And while Angela suggests there is nothing magic about the number 80 percent, she does agree that for many endeavors if you can just persist and keep showing up this overcomes most of the challenges we face on the way to reaching our goals.
You can test your levels of grit in Angela’s research lab at https://sites.sas.upenn.edu/duckworth.
And if you’d like more tested, practical ways to show up, shine and succeed at work grab the free podcast series with leading thinkers in human flourishing at http://www.showupshineandsucceed.com.