Willpower Wednesday: Introducing Grit

I first heard about Grit in the context of a First-Year Seminar course that my department is designing (I’m not directly involved in the design, but I will teach the course this Fall). Our director sent around a pre-release review of Dr. Duckworth’s book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.

The article intrigued me, so I searched for more information. I found Dr. Duckworth’s Ted Talk, (the lead-in video), her web site, with its Grit Scale self-test, and quite a few related concepts (which I’ll talk about more later), such as Carol Dweck’s Growth and Fixed Mindsets.

To put it succinctly, and in Dr. Duckworth’s own words, “Grit is passion and perseverance for long-term goals.” It’s not just intensity, or desire, or willpower. It’s a long-term combination of those and more.

My own Grit score wasn’t that great, which didn’t surprise me. I’ve always had trouble seeing things through on my own, at least once they got difficult. My attention tends to flit from one thing to another, and I need the support of someone much “Grittier” (like my wife) to push through. I doubt I’d have completed my Ph.D. without her encouragement.

So of course, I’m very interested in exploring this further, as I’ll do in future “Willpower Wednesdays” posts.







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