Early on in her book Grit, Angela Duckworth recounts what she wanted to stay to her dad upon receiving a coveted MacArthur Fellowship. She imagines agreeing with her dad about how she’s not a genius. However, in this hypothetical interaction, she goes on to tell him:
I’ll challenge myself every day. When I get knocked down, I’ll get back up. I may not be the smartest person in the room, but I’ll strive to be the grittiest.
Considering the above excerpt, if someone is to grow their grit, they’ll likely have to develop a fair amount of persistence and toughness. If something doesn’t go their way, they’ll have to be able to push forward even if it means overcoming additional stress and hardship.
Such tenacity and perseverance should be more feasible if it’s applied to a calling or an interest that someone is extraordinarily passionate about. Think about the example of Kerry Close, the National Spelling Bee champion. If she was not uncommonly excited about spelling, the three thousand hours of practice might have been an intolerable strain on her.
Not everyone will possess the “sisu” to dedicate so many hours of their life to spelling. Duckworth provides other examples in which grit garnered success. She talks about the British comedian and performer Francesca Martinez and Cinnabon president, Kat Cole.
Again, to grow one’s grit, a person will need perseverance, toughness, and discipline. A person will also need to locate what they’re truly passionate about so that they can apply their indefatigable qualities to something that they care about. Finding a calling can take some time, as can growing one’s grit. It’s unlikely that one’s grit will grow to full size overnight.