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The One Pivotal Trait That Can Help Determine Your Success

Let's be honest, surviving the dumpster fire of 2020 is a serious badge of honor. Regardless of where you are or what you had to do, you're here. A large part of that is due to a combination of passion and perseverance. There's a word for that.

Even if it means you had to put things on hold, get whatever work was available, or even pick up and move, the word still applies. Angela Lee Duckworth has studied successful people in many walks of life to understand who they are and why they've made it. From West Point cadets to salespeople, she found that grit, the motivation to achieve a long-term goal, was the common factor among all of those that are the high achievers. In the face of a pandemic, climate change, and serious financial crisis, you'd be hard-pressed to find a time when we desperately needed to stay as motivated as we do in the present. So, it seems to me this word has a much broader application than just to the people that are the most successful.

Being able to measure this is one of the best predictors of success, but it can also indicate who's going to make it to graduation and who may drop out. It doesn't end there, though, because there's nothing on the other side of the equation. If grit is what we need to be successful, then how do we get more? And is this only for the top performers or for everyone? Merriam-Webster defines grit as "firmness of character; indomitable spirit," which is much more rigid in its scope but still implies an attitude geared to sustaining momentum over the long-term. Check out this short video on what can give you more grit and where our understanding of this human trait stands today.

Is there a better word for the current state of things?

Joe Loper's picture

Joe Loper is a headshot and portrait photographer in beautiful Brooklyn, NY. After a stint in the corporate world and serving in the U.S. Air Force, he fully embraced his passion for the arts. Joe holds an M.F.A. in Drama and is dedicated to the artistic community.

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Out in the real world, I think being able to pivot at the right time is the most pivotal trait determining success.

Define success for me

That's definitely smart if you can see the need for it time but isn't that part of persevering? As in, I need to move to a different strategy to keep the business open. Or even close the business. I don't think grit implies you do one thing blindly until failure.

Great song. ;0)

I really enjoyed this article Joe. Thanks for posting it.

Very welcome!