Grit, get it and give it

by Tanya Monteiro on 08/31/2016

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For most of my life in the finance world I did not feel qualified to be there. I would work harder than most people to try to understand phrases like credit default swaps and other financial terminology. Very often I would have snide remarks made to me by engineers, in their minds I did not have a physics degree or a phd, basically I was not qualified enough to be selling trading and risk management software to our clients who were Investment Banks and Hedge Funds.

Fast forward a few years and I look back with 20/20 vision and realise that what got me through was my abundance of GRIT.

Defined via google grit is “courage and resolve; strength of character” – so when I came across Angela Duckworth and saw her 6 min TED I finally found words to describe how I got through and get through things in life.

Angela left a demanding job as a management consultant in her late twenties to teach math to seventh graders in the New York City public schools. Several years in the classroom taught her that effort was tremendously important to success.

To begin to solve the mystery of why some people work so much harder and longer than others, Angela entered the PhD program in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, (no, the irony is not lost on me) where she is now a professor.

What we need to succeed in our lives is Grit defined in Angela’s words as passion, perseverance and stamina. Sticking to our goals and living life like it’s a marathon not a sprint.

Social Intelligence, Good Looks, Good Health and high IQ’s contribute, to be sure, but they are all useless if we do not have GRIT.

What Angela also discovered is that building GRIT in kids is about teaching them to have a growth mindset


They need to understand that the ability to learn is not fixed it can grow with effort and it can keep growing. They also need to learn that it’s ok to fail, to be willing to be wrong.

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