From my quote file: Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933):
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan press on has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
Turns out there is some truth to this. Via Garret, comes a Philadelphia Inquirer story about a Penn researcher who says it isn’t I.Q., grades or talent that lead to success – “It’s good, old-fashioned stick-to-itiveness.”:
“It’s not like you could be stupid, but if you didn’t have the necessary drive and determination to overcome obstacles and set high standards for yourself, then you weren’t going to make it,” he says.
But Simonton thinks Duckworth’s grit studies are interesting on two fronts. She’s looking at contemporary achievers, rather than dead geniuses, and she’s developed a grit scale, which attempts to measure the determination they show.
Robert J. Sternberg, a Yale University psychology professor who directs the school’s Center for the Psychology of Abilities, Competencies and Expertise, believes that schools don’t emphasize nonintellectual qualities – like grit – enough. “There’s a really serious disconnect between the way we prepare kids for leadership positions in society, for life as an adult, and what you actually have to do to get there,” he says.
Not that parents always do the job either. Some try to protect their kids from failure or frustration. “In the course of your life, you encounter a lot of blows, some of them quite awful,” Sternberg says, “and if you don’t learn how to overcome those obstacles, you’re at a disadvantage.”
My personal story is a real world example. It’s one of the reasons why I believe no matter how lost some may think some are – there is always hope.
Don’t let anyone’s put downs or discouragement, your background or history, keep you from fighting for your dreams. It’s always about the fight.
I’m definitely ramping up to join the local folks who’ve shared their views on faith and politics. Not being an eloquent writer makes it difficult – it’s complicated to think about – let alone write about – but the conversation, I think, is important.