Whether you’re guiding a child’s development or looking for more victories personally or professionally, Angela Lee Duckworth’s Ted Talk The key to success? Grit is a must-see. An informative and illuminating discussion of the pivotal requirement for triumphing in life, Angela contends success is determined not by IQ, EQ or physical attributes but by grit, that emotional fortitude that allows people, regardless of social, physical or intellectual gifts, to scale mountains.
In a time when talent seems to be considered life’s holy grail – parents seem to have a searing focus on gifts, – Angela’s talk is a refreshing articulation of the idea that pluck not only matters big time but in fact is the make or break factor. And, in an almost reassuring way, she suggests an inverse relationship exists between grit and talent, meaning the fewer natural gifts you have, the more likely you’ll be equipped with that all-important mettle.
She also discusses the growth mindset, the idea that ability isn’t fixed and that it grows and evolves with use, an important concept benefiting children immensely by encouraging effort. Studies show this simple but critical concept increases grades and productivity.
As an added benefit, Angela outlines briefly her career trajectory – she went from management consultant to teacher to psychologist – which in itself is an inspiring reminder of how we can all keep learning, growing and reinventing who we are.
Check it out and let me know what you think. As a follow-up, watch her Ted Talk called Can perseverance be taught:
FYI: In case you’ve been living under a rock – or stuck in a kid, job or summer vortex (I’ve been there) – Ted.com is a great place to hang out. Ted Talks, started in 1984 and with the tag line ideas worth spreading, provides stimulating and enriching discussion on important topics, from science to business to education to global issues. Easily accessed through TED.com, TED Talks are 18 minute or shorter talks given by some of the world’s most inspired thinkers. I think of it as chocolate for my brain and soul….though that may be because I love chocolate… and TED.