Boy do I have a GOOD ONE for you this time around! This brand new book unravels a mystery that has bedeviled the leaders at West Point for years: Why do a certain number of cadets drop out during the 7-week basic training nicknamed Beast Barracks even though their formal education hasn’t started yet? It’s incredibly difficult to get in to West Point. So, you’d think that nearly every person accepted would tough it out through Beast.
Well, the leaders studied the students in many ways but still hadn’t come across a method that would accurately predict who would make it and who wouldn’t until they met the Grit Scale.
The Grit Scale, presented in the book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, written by Angela Duckworth, is a unique test. It looks at a variety of factors, but what it measures best is who has the grit necessary to ride out difficult times to last until they achieve their ultimate goals.
Many among us feel that natural talent is what is the basis for some of the highest achieving people in our midst, but that would be missing another huge factor. Passion and perseverance will cause a person to make effort after effort tirelessly over a long period to make it. In fact, in the formula for what takes a person from talent to achievement, effort counts twice. Talent times effort equals skill. Then, skill times effort equals achievement. See how talent alone can fall short?
If you don’t have much talent, then you’ll have to put in even more effort to develop skill.
The author makes a fascinating observation in the book that we as a society seem to be biased towards admiring the gifted and talented over those who succeeded through sheer effort. One reason for this may be that it’s easier for us to feel good about ourselves when we are able to say, “Well, they are super successful because they were bestowed an incredible natural ability.”
Grit is a great book for you if you want to learn more about achievement and what drives it. If you’d like to take the Grit Scale, you can take it here. My grit score was 4.0.