Achievement: what does it take?


By: Lhasa Posada

Back in June, I began taking a psychology course I enrolled in for the summer. I’ve had the opportunity to learn about very interesting and thought-provoking topics! However, one has really caught my attention so far. In the field of positive psychology, studies have distinguished seven signature strengths that are vital for achievement: self-control, perseverance/grit, emotional intelligence, passion/energy, gratitude, optimism, and curiosity. All of these words surely sound familiar to you, but, what about grit?

Grit is defined as the combination of exceptional passion and perseverance to achieve a goal. Your personal level of grit is reflected in the amount of effort you put towards something. In fact, it can significantly affect the outcome. Psychologist Angela Duckworth and her research team conducted several studies in different academic settings.

For instance, which high school juniors from a Chicago public school were most likely to graduate? Which children in the National Spelling Bee would make it the furthest? All of which were driven by the same objective: to find and predict who would be successful there and why. They found that grit had the most impact on whether or not a person was to accomplish their desired result. It’s proven to overpower other factors such as talent or IQ. As essential as those traits might sound, they can’t exactly calculate how you’ll perform. You can’t get the push you actually need without discipline and ambition — in other words, grit.

Unfortunately, many of us also give into procrastination or run out of motivation from time to time. I read about many great tips for those moments. One uses cognitive restructuring, which is a collection of techniques applied to challenge negative or irrational thoughts. It recommends transforming those poor thoughts into productive ones in order to improve your commitment to a task. In addition to that, the Five-Minute Method struck me as particularly convenient. Tell your brain: “I’ll only work on this for five minutes. That’s it.” You’ll likely find yourself wanting to continue after those five minutes pass because of the progress you’re seeing. It’s the simple act of beginning that makes us dread starting. Put in the effort and persist throughout the entire journey.


Find your grit, and only outstanding results will undoubtedly lie ahead of you!


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