Revisiting Grit

In an earlier blog I wrote about grit. The interpretation I had was one that associates grit with perserverence at all costs. So I didn't speak about grit as always being a good thing. Because it's good to know when to quit. I've since learned about a broader interpretation that's made me rethink the concept.

Perserverence is one of the factors that makes up grit, and apparently it's common to think of them as synonyms. But there are other factors as well. Angela Duckworth wrote a whole book on it. She talks about 5 characteristics: courage, conscientiousness, long-term goals and endurance, resilience and excellence.

But I like the way Seth Godin talks about it. He talks about grit being the stuff that gets stuck in machines and stops them from working. This fits well within his overarching metaphor of aspiring to be anything but a faceless cog in the industrial machine. In his book The Icarus Deception is the following passage:

Grit includes perseverance, but it comes before the need for perseverance arrives, because grit includes goals and a passion for those goals. Some people will persevere merely because they are instructed to do so. Those with grit will persevere because they believe they have no choice, not if they wish to be who they are.


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