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Grit - Notes

Examination into what makes high achieves special. Grit = the combination of both passion and perseverance.

‘Our vanity, our self-love, promotes the cult of genius’ Nietzsche. Such thinking lets us off the hook if it is all about talent then there is no need to compete when we fall short by comparison. We discount the dedication, hard work and practice expertise takes.

Talent = how quickly your skill improves when you invest effort. Skill x effort = achievement.

Passion should be viewed as a compass it takes time to build to adjust and get right and then guides you on the long and winding road to where you really want to be.

Goal hierarchies. Equates to the steps along the way. Requires breaking down the performance requirements and understanding how they chunk and what goals and measurable progress looks like from the bottom up.

Research indicates that those with high levels of grit have some particular psychological assets:

Passion begins with enjoying what you do, curiosity and interest are the start point and building blocks for this.

Capacity for practice. Borne of a desire to improve and a belief that this is possible with focused work.

Conviction that it matters, it is both interesting and at some level connected to the well being of others.

Running through and sustaining everything else hope sustains perseverance.

Play & autonomy very important in early stage development. Don’t get too serious or too narrow too soon.

For beginners novelty is about what has not been encountered before, for the expert novelty is all about nuance.

Gritty people do more deliberate practice (See Peak Ericsson) and experience more ‘flow’, (Csikszentimihalyi pronounced cheeks-sent-me-hi). This about behaviour and experience

Elena Bodrova and Deborah Leong educational psychologists note that young children up to around the age of 4-5 are uninhibited in learning and making mistakes. After this they notice our reactions – we frown we draw attention to mistakes. What we end up teaching them is embarrassment, fear, shame – what a collection of inhibitors to learning!!

Purpose in terms of grit means ‘ the intention to contribute to the well being of others.’

Developmental psychologist Bill Damon – pattern to the origins of purpose. Spark = something your interested in, then you need a purposeful role model, could be a parent a teacher or a historical figure. Wht matters here is that someone demonstrates that it is possible to accomplish something on behalf of others. Connecting this to a problem you are committed to solving = purpose.

It is not suffering that leads to hopelessness but suffering you think you cant control.

‘Optimists search for temporary and specific causes for their suffering. Pessimists assume permanent and pervasive causes are to blame’.

‘Children have never been very goo at listening to their elders but they have never failed to imitate them.’ James Baldwin

summary section of Carol Dweck’s work on fixed vs growth mindsets. The latter essentially sees your current state as plastic and broadly under your agency to affect, impact and change.

‘What does not kill you makes you stronger’ Nietzche. Sometimes true but sometimes it makes you weaker. When – when does struggle lead to hope and when to hopelessness?

Growth mindset – optimistic self-talk – perseverance over adversity

Ron Ferguson Harvard Economist who has collected masses of date comparing ineffective and effective teachers. Good teachers have high expectations of students and are ‘psychologically wise’

For students the ability to follow through is the single best indicator of future accomplishment and leadership positions. Does not matter what the pursuit was key thing is that students sign up for something, sign up again the next year and make progress.

Duckworth’s family have a ‘hard rule thing’ 3 parts; everyone in the family has to do a hard thing – ie requires daily deliberate practice. You can quit but not before the season is over or some natural stopping point is reached. You finish what you begin. Final rule you get to choose the hard thing.

A culture for grit – if you want to be gritter find a gritty culture and join it. Eg, The real way to become a great swimmer is to join a great team.

Culture over time has the power to shape identity. The norms and values of the group become our own. ‘The way we do things around here and why eventually becomes the way I do things and why.

Finnish concept of Sisu – get up again no matter what, no matter how bad I can take worse.

Belief in yourself as someone who can take tremendous adversity leads to self confirming behaviour.

Jamie Damon CEO JP Morgan Chase – culture of grit

Compete – from the latin to strive together – nothing in its origins about someone else losing.

Pete Carroll – Seattle Seahawks head coach example of grit culture – ‘deep and rich support and relentless challenge to improve.’