Postcard 14: Grit
Hello from New York!
I recently looked over my writing from years ago, and I am embarrassed by how bad it was. Yet, even in those old essays, there were nuggets of wisdom. Wisdom that now seems to me to have come from someplace outside of me. In one particular essay from 2014, I wrote: "Perseverance, or grit, is arguably just as important as intelligence, if not more... Perseverance is about doing something continuously and not giving up, that doesn't mean in one sitting."
Writing forces wisdom from deep inside us out into the world. Because writing forces us to think harder and clarify what is in our heads. But this postcard is about Grit, and I'd like to get to what it is and why I was thinking about it all those years ago.
In the book aptly named Grit, Angela Duckworth explains that Grit was the number one predictor of people's success in life, far more than talent or intelligence or any other quality in humans. Yet figuring out how to measure Grit isn't easy as Angela says:
"For me, the question became: How do you measure something so intangible? Something that decades of military psychologists hadn't been able to quantify? Something those very successful people I'd interviewed said they could recognize on sight, but couldn't think of how to directly test for?"
In constructing that test, Angela found that Grit is:
"Half of the questions were about perseverance... The other half of the questions were about passion... What emerged was the Grit Scale—a test that, when taken honestly, measures the extent to which you approach life with Grit."
Grit is Passion combined with Perseverance. The book is a great read, and Angela did the research to back all of this up and much more.
Let's get into a few ideas from others.
The best tweets and ideas from this week:
James clear has a good trick on how to pick habits we can stick with.
Jack Butcher shared the illustrations from the book the Almanack of Naval Ravikant, the book is amazing and here are a few of my favorite ideas.
A few Articles I've read from others this week:
The wayfinding premium by Seth Godin
There is always a premium of time and resources to try and do something new and unique, there is a cost for us personally. Seth does a good job exposing it.
"Great resignation" wave coming for companies Surveys show anywhere from 25% to upwards of 40% of workers are thinking about quitting their jobs.
I also wrote two articles this week, more detailed versions of my second Ship30 Journey.
Four life-changing realizations Four realizations that changed the way I operate my life; things I internalized that were so profound they became a part of me.
How to lead with no backup One might quit when resources have run out. But few people quit on their team.
This postcard is a bit longer than usual but I hope you enjoy it and the ideas are useful.
Also, a reminder that my inbox is open; feel free to reply to this email. I love hearing from my friends who subscribed to this weekly postcard, and I am happy to help in any way.
Have a great week,