Psychologist Angela Duckworth is the world’s leading expert on grit—the coveted quality that’s a better indicator of success than talent, or even IQ. Defined by Duckworth as a blend of passion and perseverance over the course of long-term goals, grit has enormous benefits that go beyond just performance. Below, she shares how it can help us cope—and thrive—during COVID-19.
As we grapple with the ongoing, collective trauma of the pandemic, we could all stand to cultivate more grit. Why? Because when bad things happen unexpectedly, part of having grit is being able to navigate those stormy waters, explains #1 New York Times bestselling author Angela Duckworth. Another bonus? Really “gritty” people tend to look for opportunities to learn and grow during challenging times. That means that when the crisis is over, they won’t be where they were before it all started—they’ll actually be better off. Best of all, it’s never too late to develop grit, or gritty qualities like self-control, tenacity, and stamina, because people never stop developing.
So while the future is uncertain, and things are to a large extent outside of our control, we can take a cue from those gritty people, and frame our adversity in what Duckworth refers to as an “optimistic, resilient way.” Meaning that we can choose to focus on the things we can change, and the elements of our situation that are temporary. In her engaging, inspirational, and actionable talks, Duckworth reminds us that there are still things in our life we do have control over, and that it’s in our best interest to spend the majority of our time on those things as we continue to weather this storm.