Why Grit Is More Important Than IQ When You’re Trying To Become Successful
What’s the best predictor of success? IQ, talent, luck?
Nope. It’s ‘grit,’ more than anything else.
It is the ability to persist in something you feel passionate about and persevere when you face obstacles. This kind of passion is not about intense emotions or infatuation. It’s about having direction and commitment. When you have this kind of passion, you can stay committed to a task that may be difficult or boring.
Grit is also about perseverance. To persevere means to stick with it; to continue working hard even after experiencing difficulty or failure.
Research indicates that the ability to be gritty—to stick with things that are important to you and bounce back from failure—is an essential component of success independent of and beyond what talent and intelligence contribute.
Grit is important because it is a driver of achievement and success, independent of and beyond what talent and intelligence contribute. Being naturally smart and talented are great, but to truly do well and thrive, we need the ability to persevere. Without grit, talent may be nothing more than unmet potential. It is only with effort that talent becomes a skill that leads to success. Without grit, talent may be nothing more than unmet potential. So how can you measure grit? One way was a “deceptively simple” test called a Grit Scale, which asks how much you self-identify with statements such as “I am a hard worker” to “New ideas and projects sometimes distract me from previous ones.”
Beyond IQ, talent, and whatever else has any kind of effect on anything, what most affects your ability to achieve your goals is grit. Grit is a combination of passion and perseverance, a belief that failure can be overcome. It’s a willingness to conquer challenges, instead of avoiding them.
The only person that can really push you a little bit further in life is yourself.
Grit is both a trait and a skill. Grit is that mix of passion, perseverance, and self-discipline that keeps us moving forward in spite of obstacles. Grit says, “I’ve got this.”
You can develop your capacity for grit. Your response to a challenging situation is more important the obstacle you face. Ryan Holiday says “obstacle is the way”. And you need grit to push through the obstacle every time you face a challenge.
Dr. Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, is the best-known researcher of grit, and she defines Grit as: “working strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years despite failures, adversity, and plateaus in progress.”
Tenacity matters so greatly because, as she explains, “effort counts twice.”
The emerging science of grit is teaching us a lot about why some people redouble their efforts when the rest of us are heading for the door. The ability to stick with and pursue a goal over a long period is an important indicator of achieving anything worthwhile in life. Grit is a better indicator of success than talent. No matter how talented you think you are, if you don’t put in the work, it will amount to nothing.
Grit begins with a growth mindset. If you strongly believe in the science of human growth in mindset, you have a greater chance of cultivating your grit over time. That belief alone can give you the perspective you need to stick with something even when the process is difficult. What can you do in small ways every day that would make it easy to take the necessary steps to pursue your life-long goals? Perseverance and resilience have a lot to do with success than you think.
Grit is essential for your success in life, but it is not attractive. Grit requires sacrifice: embrace the challenge! It’s going to get hard, right? It’s going to be difficult and you are going to want to give up. And some people, a lot of people, will. The act of becoming a master at your craft takes a lot of purposeful practice. You will experience messy frustration. Motivation will ebb and flow, but you can only improve when you commit to constant practice. You will make tons and tons of mistakes in the process. Making mistakes and failing is normal — in fact, they’re necessary.
Embrace the long repetitive process to get better. Grit takes time, and many people aren’t giving it. The cost of being the best and pushing towards meaningful work takes a lot of sacrifices. Many people are not ready for that. But the whole point here is that the positive mindset needed to get to the long-term goal can be developed over time. You can maintain the effort and interest need to finish hard. Sometimes you have to let go of something good to grasp something great. The tendency not to abandon tasks in the face of obstacles builds the resilience you need to succeed in life.
So always remember: Be proud of your work. And never quit trying.
Cultivate your grit and push yourself further outside your comfort bubble. And remember what Ryan Holiday said, “The obstacle is the way”.