Getting Grit is the title of best-selling positive psychology author Caroline Miller’s upcoming book. I had an opportunity to chat with Caroline about her personal gritty life path and all things goal-setting, success and grit in a recent episode of my webcast, Serving Your Success. Getting Grit may not always feel like fun, yet Caroline’s good news is: grit is something you can, in fact, ‘get’ and something worth getting.
So what is grit? Lead grit researcher Angela Duckworth identified grit as the focused power of passion and perseverance that explains achievement in a way IQ and SAT scores never could. Since I am a person who has said of myself, “I have learned to use my average intelligence in an extraordinary way,” Duckworth, and now Miller’s work, is gratifying.
In the tradition of positive psychology, Caroline has broadened and built on Duckworth’s seminal work. Caroline knew that because anyone could develop grit, it was a morally neutral human characteristic. What does that mean? It means Hitler harnessed the ability to focus his passion and persevered to achieve his goals. Hitler had grit. It does not need to be argued, Hitler having grit was not a good thing.
Getting Grit moves to the heart of the argument by identifying authentic grit as the grit that helps a society flourish. Authentic grit adds the benefit of others to the focused power of passion and perseverance. When you are being authentically gritty, you are using your focused power of passion and perseverance to help not only yourself, but others, to flourish.
Grit matters. Other people matter. Getting grit is authentic when you have helped other people. Caroline is living her work. She has focused her passion and persevered to write Getting Grit. She is being authentically gritty by giving you the first chapter for free.