If you’ve practiced yoga, you’ve probably heard these common admonitions: ” Yoga is 1% theory and 99% practice“, “Yoga is for everyman – except the lazy man” etc., etc.. Me too. So I perked up when reading this article entitled, “The truth about grit: Modern science builds the case for an old-fashioned virtue – and uncovers new secrets to success“.
In recent years, psychologists have come up with a term to describe this mental trait: grit. Although the idea itself isn’t new – “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration,” Thomas Edison famously remarked – the researchers are quick to point out that grit isn’t simply about the willingness to work hard. Instead, it’s about setting a specific long-term goal and doing whatever it takes until the goal has been reached. It’s always much easier to give up, but people with grit can keep going.
What is “grit”? Can it be taught? Is it genetic? Do I have a goal (to one day touch my heels to the mat in downward dog)? The article highlights a psychologist by the name of Angela Duckworth who has some amazing research on the development of persistence and self-control. Check out her (freely downloadable) research articles and “grit” assessments – used nowadays to predict who is likely to drop-out when the going gets tough.
It turns out that in life – just as in yoga – grit matters. It matters more than personality, intelligence or the amount of money you can spend.