What leads to success? Is it solely based on intelligence? Or is there something else?
When it comes to parenting children, is there something you can do to steer your child toward success?
In a TED Talk, Angela Lee Duckworth recounts how she left her job as a consultant and became a math teacher. As she evaluated assignments from the students, she noticed that those students who were more intelligent on paper didn't seem to be doing as well as those who maybe weren't as smart.
It comes down to motivation. Duckworth explained that regardless of content, "I was firmly convinced that every one of my students could learn the material if they worked hard and long enough." The problem is, education only really measures IQ, but does not account for hard work.
Duckworth says success comes from one key characteristic: grit. "Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future ... for years." Success requires working toward goals until they are achieved, which cannot be done without "grit." People with grit follow through on their commitments.
Well, this is actually tricky to answer because there isn't really a science-tested answer ... yet. However, if we take time to look back at things we have achieved, at our successes, we can look at what it took to get there.
Applying this to our children, we can see that to have grit, they must have:
Some or many failures
Drive to start again and again
Ability to persevere
Willingness to change direction or processes as necessary
The ability to learn and adapt
Passion that exceeds fear of failure
Children need to learn to do things on their own without a parent rescuing them from failure. They need to learn to problem-solve. Children must have the opportunity to fail, to learn from failures, and start again. A statue doesn't become a beautiful masterpiece without a lot of chiseling off the rough edges. As that happens, many small rocks, or grit, form. Without the grit, there would be no masterpiece.