Got Grit

What Part Does Grit Play in Your Life?.After finishing a long scientific article picked up by the national media, my mind raises the sub-vox question,."What is the writer saying in simple English?".If I blank on the answer, the page is deleted."A Penn researcher who studies high achievers says it isn't I.

Q., grades, or leadership skills that lead to success. It's good, old fashioned stick-to-itiveness.".The gist of the research is that success in everything is all about 'passion', (intense emotion), which is aroused through 'grit'.

A synonym for grit is courage or willpower, heart and stick-to-itiveness.So what?.The proforma answer should now list all the 'positive' emotions that produce passion and grit, starting with love, joy, and peace of mind.Surprise! The intense emotions that trigger grit begin with rage, envy, fear, and jealousy. In fact we are motivated ten-to-one by 'negative emotions' to create massive changes in our lives."That's not fair! I deserved that promotion.

I'm smarter than her. Look at that new Mercedes in his driveway, son-of-a-? It should be mine. Something has to change! And the killer negative feedback motivator, "You can't talk to me like that!".The University of Pennsylvania professor, Angela Lee Duckworth, says the secret of grit is 'tenaciously pursuing something over the long term'.

Sure you know that, but since the typical American watches TV up to five hours daily, who has time for grit and/or passion?.Left and Right Brain Skills.What about 'ordinary folks', without over-the-top I.Qs., who create extraordinary successes?."Persistence and determination is the secret because we learn by our 'mistakes'.

Working on a skill daily produces 'Kaizen', small improvements that add up to massive reactions. We get better, little by little, until we own the skill or knowledge through practice.".

Why do they call it 'trial and error', not 'trial and success'? Answer.We learn through our mistakes and rejections, not successes because the secret is negative feedback. Mistakes make us feel stupid, and we become angry. The result is to beat ourselves up to learn how avoid these mental and emotional insults.Once we have learned the successful strategy we keep repeating it until it goes on auto pilot. That's called programming or conditioning, not learning.

We learn by obsessing about our mistakes and rejections, (negative feedback), and demand a practical solution.Successful folks become compulsive about overcoming their ignorance in a particular area; negativity causes passion and grit. When you could spit nails in frustration ? another negative emotion ? you are targeted for winning.Grit and passion reinforced each other, activating our left and right brain in a 75%/25% proportion, instead of the normal, 90/10. Courage (grit), changes the structure and function of our brain, beginning with our state of mind.

Disrupt your comfort zone, and you will work 90 hours weekly to pass the Bar exam because your self-image is at stake.Examples.The grit research on 1,223 West Point entering freshmen predicted success better than I.Q., SAT scores and past grades. This grit thing was a better predictor of winning than anything else for contestants in a National Spelling Bee, and kids in an elite prep school.

It applies to them, and to all of us.Until you get mad, excite your brain's amygdala, you and I will seek out distractions and refuse to put in the time to win the marbles. If you aint passionate about something in a negative way, it is a pipedream not a reality.Endwords.Professor Duckworth has the nerve to say: Grit is more important than intelligence. Grit (heart), trains us to overcome obstacles.

She is working on how to train people to have this gritty skill.The reason grit and passion are in short supply is not the availability of TV, the Internet, and video games. It is boredom which cover us like a wet blanket in a storm whenever we decide what we are reading, seeing, and hearing is not linked to our benefit. Remember the powerful question ? WIIFM (What's In It For Me?)?.Our ego has this WIIFM sign nailed up on our imagination screen.

There is an immediate disconnect as soon as the answer is 'Nothing!'.Grit and passion keep us focused on discovering the details of any new idea or knowledge that is in-sync with our deepest needs and desires.Convince us we can benefit from what you have to say, and we're all glued to the chair in a trance.

Professor Abraham Maslow said, 'self interest puts the flow, in the zone, and produces a peak experience.'.All it takes is wake up grit is to answer WIIFM, with, "A lot!".

A. Einstein said, "None of my discoveries came from logical thinking. Imagination is more important than knowledge.

".Edward Lorenz at MIT, created The Butterfly Effect, and its principle,."Small changes lead to massive reactions.

Predictability: Does the flap of a Butterfly's wings in Brazil, set off a tornado in Texas?".Finally.Can you answer these two questions?.1. What was the last thing you got obsessive and compulsive about?.2.

What does it take to arouse your grit and passion?.Our system to train folks to have grit is not to talk it to death, but to offer specific skills to cope with boredom and normal distractions.We call them BIS? Behavioral Intelligence Strategies, two-minute power programs to condition your mind for grit and passion.You'll recognize them by the six-steps to practice. It's always your decision whether to learn these techniques.

Do you have to lose your income (downsizing, outsourcing merger or bankruptcy), before you get mad enough to decide to change your destiny?.My pal's Mom from San Antonio used to say, "A little bit of grits goes a long way." Get gritty, and win your personal game.See ya,.

H. Bernard Wechsler


Author of #1 rated book on speed reading, Speed Reading For Professionals, published by Barron's Educational, original partner of Evelyn Wood, creator of Speed Reading, and educational director of Speedlearning100, and international program on personal growth hbw@speedlearning.


By: H. Bernard Wechsler

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