3 definitions of grit: what is grit and why it matters

The belief in the esoteric egoistic genius is out. Grit is in.

  1. Talent + Effort = Skill. Skill + Effort = Achievement. This is the grit formula. Without effort, talent does not equal skill. Without effort, skill does not equal achievement. It’s not enough to count on talent or skill, put in the effort. Don’t worry about whatever label others cast on you as you actually try. The ones who do something are the ones who get something done.
  2. Grit is persistent effort towards a goal that we hold in our mind. Goal here refers to a long-term passion or an overarching philosophy that gives meaning to life. It’s not just any goal but it’s a goal that is worth pursuing, over and over, for a long time.
  3. Hold a searing goal in your mind and work on it with enthusiasm and passion everyday until you accomplish it. It’s not one swooping act of success that defines a person. It’s the consistent work behind the success. If superficial success falls on your lap, it’s not success at all, it’s a hand-out. If you work on something with determination and perseverance, even if you superficially fail, it’s not a loss. Grit lies in the process and the process will not fail you.

P.S. Angela Duckworth, a McArthur grant winner, is known for her research on grit. Her book Grit: The Power of Perseverance and Passion is a good starting point for exploring grit. The examples are relatable. The stories give you context. She also read the audiobook herself.