Last week I spent time with a friend who needs to make a change in her life to achieve a pretty important goal related to a medical condition. I watched and encouraged as she worked out what actions she could take to get closer to her goal and tried them out. These actions related to changes in diet, drugs, physical and mental exercise. Several days later I watched with surprise as she decided the new actions were all too much hassle and she would just go back to her old ways and live with the status quo. After several more days I watched her get back on track. She made the decision that she didn’t want to live with the status quo and really wanted to achieve the goal and she’d do whatever it took to get there! Now I’m watching and supporting her go through the daily actions with enthusiasm with no doubt that her actions will help her reach her goal. Now she is persevering!
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” – Steve Jobs
After some years of teaching in school and then studying psychology Angela Lee Duckworth pondered what it takes for people to succeed. Based on her research she identified one characteristic as an indicator of success…grit. She defines grit as passion and perseverance. Take a listen to her Ted Talk.
I think there is another element in grit that comes before perseverance and that is decision making. Once you make a decision to succeed you ignite the strength to persevere and overcome obstacles.
Think about a time when you’ve experienced success. Maybe reaching a goal of loosing weight or running in a marathon or a project at work. I’m sure there was effort and perseverance involved but I bet there was a decision point as well. And once the decision is made all the questions and doubts subside and you just get on with whatever it takes to succeed.
What is at the root of your successes?