“If the plan doesn’t work, change the PLAN but never the goal.”
In my opinion, perseverance and grit are two of the most important attributes to obtain in order to be successful. Although success is relative and may differ from person to person, in order to accomplish one’s goals, it is necessary to possess these two things.
When you establish a goal for yourself, it is helpful to create a roadmap or plan that consists of specific steps you need to take in order to get there. This may act as a guide to keep you on track of where you are and where you want to go. As you take steps towards your goal, you are going to run into obstacles along the way. Whether it is your family and/or friends trying to convince you that your plan or goal is not realistic or it is something else standing in your way, at some point you are going to run into what feels like a roadblock. Although this may take the wind out of your sails and you may feel deflated and like a failure, this does not mean that you need to change your goal. It may just mean it is time to adjust your plan! Remember, the most successful people in this world fail the most. This is because they take the most amount of risks and have the desire, motivation, and energy to overcome obstacles and challenges in order to reach success.
Angela Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania defines grit as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” She indicates that grit is a better indicator of future success and happiness than IQ or talent. I agree with her. If people do not possess this trait, it is more likely that they will give up after they fail once or twice. However, a person that develops grit will continue to persevere and find ways to reach their goals. Developing grit takes time and resilience. It is similar to the process of learning the guitar. For example, when you first pick up a guitar, it can be somewhat painful to play, as the steel strings are hard on your fingers. It is easy to just give up and tell yourself that the guitar is not for you. However, over time, if you continue to play the guitar, embrace the pain, and persevere, your fingers will develop callouses and playing will be less painful. This process is similar when working towards goals. You have to work through the kinks, mistakes and failures, and pain in order to reach the prize.
Teach your kids to develop grit and perseverance
It is difficult as parents to watch your kids struggle and fail. It can be painful to see them discouraged, frustrated, or sad and disappointed. However, it is important to help them process these emotions and learn from them as opposed to plow their way through life. If you pave the way for your children by problem solving and doing the work for them or provide a safety net for them should they fall, they will never fully experience what it means to develop grit or perseverance. They will also fear failure, which will prevent them from taking risks and pushing through challenging obstacles. It is the grit, perseverance, and independent accomplishments that will help your child establish confidence and a stronger self-esteem so take some deep breaths and take a step back before you have the inclination to catch your child if you see they are falling. It will really pay off in the end!