From StateCollege.com — Patty Kleban writes “University of Pennsylvania researcher Angela Duckworth investigated what she has calls “grit” as a factor in success. According to Duckworth and her colleagues, the passion and motivation to continue working towards a personal goal — grit — may be the best predictor of success.

Using a variety of population samples, Duckworth and her fellow researchers have attempted to sift out grit as a factor in success. From national spelling bee contestants to cadets at West Point, Duckworth and others have concluded that it is more than IQ or grades or even physical fitness that predicts success.

Two people. Same skill set. Similar in ability. Similar IQ. Grit may be what makes the difference.

Working hard is a known factor in achievement but working longer and staying with the effort may be the key. Like the story of the tortoise and the hare, it was likely the tortoise’s slow plodding along, ignoring the distractions, and staying focused on the finish line that resulted in the win over the faster yet less focused hare. The tortoise had grit.

The $64,000 question remains. Can we teach grit? As parents, educators or employers, we ask ourselves, how does one come by grit?

Some will argue that grit is an attribute of our personality. Our nature and DNA have a lot do to with our direction in life and our response to what life throws at us. Case in point is my daughter who, since she learned to talk, cannot be derailed if she gets her mind on something. She has always been able to focus and push herself (and push us to get what she wants) sometimes to the point of driving us crazy. We used to say “get out of her way” if she wanted something. We now watch in awe as she manages 3 jobs, her social life and her academics as she finishes her senior year at Penn State. The kid has grit.

Others will say that grit is a learned response. We watch those around us and learn commitment by seeing the commitment and effort of others. Those folks would say that my daughter learned her grit from watching us or by receiving positive reinforcement for self-motivation and self-directed behaviors….”

Read the full story at State College, PA – How Do You Spell Success? G-R-I-T.