TED Tuesday: Grit

Angela Lee Duckworth: The key to success?  Grit

Do you have the right stuff?  We talk a great deal about talent, intelligence, beauty, vision, even chutzpah, but when things get difficult, can you pull yourself up by your bootstraps and keep going?  That quality — grit — is often the “magic” that makes the difference in learning and in achieving a broad range of life’s successes.

Educational psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth has identified grit as the key element to success in a variety of environments and situations.  Defining this characteristic as “passion and perseverance for very long-term goals”, her research is a compelling look at something you may already sense…but haven’t yet identified.

This could be bad news for the talented artists of the world who tend to wait for opportunities to come to them.  But for those who can look a challenge and even a failure in the eye and rise to the occasion, Duckworth’s talk is both validation and a call to action:  For ourselves and for children we raise and teach, “we need to get gritty about making our kids grittier.”  There has to be a rap in there somewhere — just watch those rhymes…

TED:  Ideas Worth SpreadingDo you know TED? Our once-in-a-Tuesday series features selected videos from TED.com, where thousands of “TED Talks” cover divergent topics in technology, education, art, design, music and more, with a profound impact on thought leaders and artists all over the world. Learn more by reading the introduction to our first post in the series.


Learn more about the research going on at The Duckworth Lab

Keep Going: The Art of Perseverance, by Joseph M. Marshall III

Paperback (also available as Audiobook CD)

Difficulties are a part of life—but so is the wisdom that helps us overcome them. On Keep Going, Lakota elder and award-winning storyteller Joseph M. Marshall III offers the unique perspective of his people to remind us that the most important and enduring lessons come through the power of perseverance. In this original author adaptation, Marshall shares with heartwarming understanding and moving insight stories that stretch back across generations through the Lakota oral tradition. Whether you’re currently involved in a challenging situation or simply in need of a voice of encouragement, Keep Going will inspire each and every step along the path ahead of you.

How Children Succeed:  Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character, by Paul Tough

Paperback (also available for Kindle)

Why do some children succeed while others fail? The story we usually tell about childhood and success is the one about intelligence: success comes to those who score highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs. But in How Children Succeed, Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter more have to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, optimism, and self-control.


How to Cook Grits: A Simple Recipe to Keep Handy, Huffington Post, 4/24/13

Unfortunately, there’s no clear evidence that eating delicious grits will help, but it couldn’t hurt!  Here’s an excellent simple recipe for this classic Southern dish.
Wanna get decadent?  Try these Cheese Grits from Alton Brown.

Or try this luscious recipe collection
from Amazon’s bargain bin –>

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