Many years ago, a young Angela Duckworth (today author of bestselling book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance) heard a phrase that would shape her life. Her father, in his candid manner, would often tell her, “You know, you’re no genius!” This statement, far from discouraging her, sparked a flame of determination. She only saw a challenge to prove him wrong.
Angela’s journey was not an easy one. She faced numerous obstacles and setbacks, but she remained undeterred. She pursued her passion for psychology, eventually becoming a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. There, she dedicated her work to studying grit and self-control, two attributes she believed were critical to success.
Her father’s words echoed in her mind as she delved deeper into her research. She realized that success was not solely dependent on innate talent or intelligence. Instead, it was the result of passion and perseverance, the very qualities she had demonstrated throughout her life.
Angela’s story is a testament to the power of grit. Despite being told she was “no genius”, she went on to win a MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the “Genius Grant” – how ironic isn’t it?
How do we each react in the face of adversity? That’s a good answer to have!