Grit: Passion and Perseverance for Long-Term Goals

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I had the wonderful opportunity of taking my son, Kobi, to the 7×7 Adidas Tournament in California. There were some phenomenal athletes there!  Most of them have a dream of getting a college football scholarship and even playing for the NFL one day! A college scholarship and the NFL are big goals. But like any big goals, what does it take to get there? There are several factors involved, but this post is about GRIT.

Grit: Passion and Perseverance for Long-Term Goals

What is grit?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary has four definitions of grit. The fourth definition is the one I want to expand on. “Firmness of mind or spirit: unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger.”

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Dr. Angela Duckworth

I was in a lab last week waiting for my blood to get drawn (no worries- routine blood work), and an interview with Angela Duckworth was on TV. She discussed her book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.

Dr. Duckworth proposes that the secret to success or outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion persistence = GRIT. (posts on Potential and Passion and Talent and Passion; posts on Persistence: My Main Goal for the New Year, Persistence, and Hard Work and Luck.)

Dr. Duckworth studied the following people to get a better understanding on grit.

  • Cadets struggling through their first days at West Point
  • Teachers working in some of the toughest schools
  • Young finalists in the National Spelling Bee
  • JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon
  • New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff
  • Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll

4 Key Factors for Grit

  1. Deepen interests
    • Don’t bounce around. You can’t get better at something unless you stick with it.
    • Find your passion and deepen your interest in it
    • Work daily to get better
  2. Work on weaknesses with feedback
  3. Value how your work impacts other people
  4. Be resilient
    • A person with grit “falls down 7 times and gets up 8.”

3 Motivating Factors for Grit

  • Grit is reachable
  • Effort is more important than talent
  • Excellence is mundane
football-grit-passion-perseverance-kobi-ipuna-black
My son Kobi is the skinny one learning from his buff teammate.

Does Talent Matter?

According to Dr. Duckworth, effort is more important than talent. I do agree with this, but I can’t ignore that there has to be some level of talent and genetic make-up for certain goals. Kobe Bryant had a much better chance at being a successful basketball player coming from the gene pool of a father, Joe Bryant, who played in the NBA than the average Joe. But if you don’t think Kobe had to work hard to do everything he did in the NBA, please read this article: Quote History of Kobe: The Work Ethic. One quote from the article, “Bryant’s dogged dedication to honing his skills made him a player like no other in his era.”

So guess what? Grit (Passion + Perseverance) does matter no matter how talented you are or what genes you possess.

football-grit-passion-perseverance-ipuna-black
7X7 Adidas CA Tournament 2-18-17.

In Summary

If you are trying to reach a goal, please keep in mind grit. You got this! Go for your passion and persevere. I know many of the boys at the Adidas Tournament will not get the opportunity to a full-ride college scholarship. But some will. I 💯 % guarantee that the ones who do have grit. I’m not saying that all the boys who don’t get scholarship don’t have grit. There are two other factors: gene pool and talent (although, grit closes the gap to this). Additionally, maybe some of these boys haven’t found their true passion. When they do, they may find grit.

Moreover, early in life, many of us don’t know what we want to do. Therefore, we may try things and quit things. When you figure out what you want to do when you “grow up,” use your grit to make it happen.

YOU! ❤️

Do you have a grit story you want to share with me in the comments? Bring it! 💪

Coming Up

  • In the next post, I’m going to talk about the grit I used to get through college (past post on How I Paid for College and Put $5000 in an Investment Account).
  • I will post a short series on How to Fail College 😱. It will be my silly way to give some tips on being successful in college. After teaching college for over 10 years and attending over 12 years of schooling, I may have some tips. 😜
  • If you have a subject you would like me to cover related to the “stuff” I already talk about, please send me a message in my contact area.

I hope everyone has a WONDERFUL week! ❤️


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20 thoughts on “Grit: Passion and Perseverance for Long-Term Goals

  1. Super post, Ipuna. My only story of grit is when I interviewed with a company in 1965 for an entry position. I was asked where I saw myself going in my career. I told the interviewer that I wanted to be president of the company and if they hired me it would happen. I was hired and twenty years of hard work later I became the President.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Right! I got my PhD, and I thought that was tough. This getting published and putting yourself out there stuff is really hard! We keep at it because we love it. That’s what I tell myself at least. Ha ha. No I love it. It is a grind. Glad to feel your empathy.

          Liked by 1 person

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