Sharing joy and knowledge from an ordinary life

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues Lecture- Dr Angela Lee Duckworth

True Grit western- the grit is held by the 13 year old girl pursuing a goal.

Self-scoring grit scale that focuses on the following two aspects of grit:

Perseverance over the long-term and a consistent focus/interest on one thing that matters to you more than anything else.

High achievement comes not just from persevering but from working on one passion.

Older adults have higher grit scores than younger adults.

  • Kindness
  • Empathy
  • Calm            All develop over a lifetime

This indicates that grit can change.

Will Smith (from Pennsylvania, like Angela)

You might be talented than me, smarter, sexier…But if we get on a treadmill together, you’re going to get off first or I’m going to die!

Francis Galton- ‘The truly eminent have ‘ability combined with zeal and the capacity for hard labour.’
Darwin wrote a personal letter back to Galton- ‘I have always maintained that men did not differ much in intellect, only in zeal and hard work.’

Stanford study of 300 geniuses
Two characteristics that seemed signature

1- The tendency not to abandon tasks when things are boring and look for change

2- The tendency not to abandon tasks when things are challenging

Angela’s definition- ‘Grit is sustained passion and perseverance for especially long-term goals.’
Achievement= talent x effort

Anders Erikson– He’s the scientist behind the 10,000 hours research (Malcolm Gladwell)
Deliberate practice

– Setting a specific stretch goal (doable but just out of reach- it’s a narrow and clear goal)

– Concentrating 100% (hard when others are around/ is it even possible in the 21st Century?)

– Get immediate and informative feedback (specific and close to the task not- you get that question right/wrong- what skill are they developing well or not?)

– Practicing repetitively until fluency (not rote memorisation but a commitment to excellence and fluency)

Martha Graham- dancer- it’s arduous and it requires stamina- it’s less about ‘flow’
National spelling bee- the grittier children were no more talented than the less grittier ones (read about the study here)

Deliberate practice is hard…and not that fun

It’s the only kind of practice that will help you to improve

Building grit- Race your strengths + Train your weaknesses
Usain Bolt does a lot of deliberate practice

Grit is about doing something that you love and actually that you are quite good at.
There is no good to be done by persuading children to do what you want them to do in a gritty way- far better that they do something they want to do.

Gritty people are thinking about what they’re doing and not what they could be doing.

The belief that ability is malleable is incredibly powerful.

Sixth graders- some were taught about study skills. Others were taught about deliberate practice and growth mindset. The higher achievers were the ones taught about deliberate practice.

It’s not just your grit that matters but the grit of those around you. There are times when our will is weak- very often, we need others to give us that strong will- this is known as surrogate grit. A partner is someone who understands the situation but is ‘psychologically distanced’.

There is a lot to be learnt by teachers from coaches- Pete Carroll- Seahawk coach video

Read all about her research into grit here.

This woman was an incredible speaker; she held my focus for the whole workshop time and I hung off her every word. She made a complex topic so accessible. Carol Dweck is her idol so I’m expecting great things but something tells me this lady is a little too modest about her own talent.

My writing commitment: I’m learning to honour my thoughts. I’m learning that my words can be shared before I’ve connected all the dots or learned everything there is to know. My writing can be a snapshot of a single moment in continually-evolving time.

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