Reshma Saujani is a lawyer, a former political candidate, an author and the founder of Girls Who Code. She says our society puts too much pressure on women to be perfect, which means girls are afraid to explore their true passions for fear of failure. She’s hoping to change that and to teach girls that it’s okay to try something that you might not succeed at.
While there are a number of factors that can affect the success that an individual will have in the pursuit of a goal, grit is one with high value. Angela Duckworth, Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, Scientific Director of the Character Lab, and author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, defines grit as a combination of two things: perseverance in the pursuit of a long-term goal and passion for that goal.
While talent is an important determinant in achieving a goal, passion for that talent plays a role, too. Duckworth explains that it could take many years for an individual to develop their passion, but that it usually is something an individual finds interesting and meaningful. Without passion, an individual may lack the drive to persevere through obstacles.
Finding a passion may be difficult, but grit is something that can heavily influence how an individual deals with life. Duckworth believes that adults can instill in children the grit to achieve their goals from a young age. She explains that adults must model what it means to struggle and overcome obstacles. Particularly that struggling is not necessarily a bad thing because children often mimic the characteristics of their parents and role-models.
Angela Duckworth, Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, Scientific Director of the Character Lab, and author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance