The Keys to Success: Grit, Resilience, And Growth Mindset

If you haven’t heard of the science of “grit”, it’s a good idea to go listen to Angela Duckworth’s talk or read her book “Grit” about the subject - grit.  Duckworth’s definition of “grit” is to work on a big and meaningful goal consistently and deliberately, for a very long time.  The following is one of the best quotes from her book.

“To be gritty is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To be gritty is to hold fast to an interesting and purposeful goal. To be gritty is to invest, day after week after year, in challenging practice. To be gritty is to fall down seven times, and rise eight.” - Angela Duckworth, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

“To be gritty is to fall down seven times, and rise eight.”  That’s resilience.  “Resilience” is actually part of “grit”.  

Whenever “grit” is mentioned, the term “growth mindset” is also often mentioned.  They are not the same thing but they are closely related.  In this article, let’s look at the definition of “grit”, “resilience” and the “growth mindset”.  


What Is Grit? 

In Duckworth’s book “Grit”, she explains that “grit” is the biggest factor for achieving success, if we don’t count the factors that we can’t control, such as luck.  The below quote from her book sums up what “grit” means perfectly.  

“Grit is about holding the same top-level goal for a very long time.”  - Angela Duckworth, Grit

By “top-level goal”, she means a goal that is a goal that is meaningful.  Your goal at the very top level would be your life purpose.  


What Is Resilience?

“Resilience” is actually a part of “grit”.  Since it’s so important, it’s worth it to look at it separately.  

“To be gritty is to fall down seven times, and rise eight.”  - Angela Duckworth, Grit

“Resilience” means the ability to bounce back after each setback.  


What Is the Growth Mindset?

People who have the growth mindset basically means people who believe that most things can be learned and developed and they focus on opportunities to learn rather than opportunities to prove themselves right.  For example, in a meeting, people with the growth mindset would prefer a healthy discussion that allows everyone in the meeting to learn more about the task in hand than a conversion that allows himself or herself to look smart.  

“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work - brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” - Carol Dweck, Mindset


Grit, Resilience, and Growth Mindset Are Keys to Success

In life, we often want to do our best at things that we have control of to maximize our chance of achieving excellence.  That means we want to develop grit, resilience and the growth mindset.  Let’s now learn from some of the best quotes about them.


“Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever.” - Mahatma Gandhi

When we learn new things, we have to be aware of the fact that most things worth learning are going to take years to learn.  Therefore, whenever you learn new, worthy things, assume that you have a lot of time to learn and don’t rush it.  One step at a time, you will eventually get your prize -  which is your new learnt skill.  


“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed no hope at all.” - Dale Carnegie

Without resilience and grit, we would never be able see all these amazing buildings, transportation vehicles and electronic gadgets around us today.  


“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” - Will Durant

Excellence is achieved with what you do repeatedly.  The ability to bounce back after having a bad day determines whether you can keep doing something important repeatedly.  


“It is hard to fail but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” - Theodore Roosevelt

If you are not trying to succeed because you are afraid of failing, ask yourself this question.  When you are about to leave the world, would you regret failing at something or would you regret not trying at all?


“It’s not that I’m so smart. It’s just that I stay with problems longer.” - Albert Einstein

Not giving up in solving a difficult problem is the key to solving the problem.  There are certainly people that are smarter than others, but most of the time, the people who stay with the problems longer win.  


“Talent counts, effort counts twice.” - Angela Duckworth

When you feel that you are not as naturally gifted as your competitors, think about the above quote.  You could beat your competitors with your effort as “effort counts twice.”


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So sail away from the safe harbour. Explore, Dream, Discover.” - Mark Twain

The above quote is a beautiful way of saying that you are not going to care about what you failed today but you are going to regret what you didn't do.  


Final Thoughts

Being the best version of yourself is a meaningful life purpose.  You are the only one who could tell yourself what exactly “being the best version of yourself” means.  For some people, that means being the best writer they could be.  For some, that means being the best entrepreneur they could be.  To achieve excellence, you would need to appreciate learning and be willing to work towards excellence consistently and for a very long time.  That’s to develop grit, resilience and the growth mindset.  It’s a long journey and the journey is a difficult one.  But is it worth it if the journey is easy?  Remember that along your journey of achieving excellence, it’s inevitable that you would influence people positively.  

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