Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Which Traits Predict Success? (The Importance of Grit)

An article on the importance of grit:

What are the causes of success? At first glance, the answer is easy: success is about talent. It's about being able to do something – hit a baseball, play chess, trade stocks, write a blog – better than most anyone else. That's a fine answer, but it immediately invites another question: What is talent? How did that person get so good at hitting a baseball or trading stocks? For a long time, talent seemed to be about inheritance, about the blessed set of genes that gave rise to some particular skill. Einstein had the physics gene, Beethoven had the symphony gene, and Tiger Woods (at least until his car crash) had the golf swing gene. The corollary, of course, is that you and I can't become chess grandmasters, or composers, or golf pros, simply because we don't have the necessary anatomy. Endless hours of hard work won't compensate for our biological limitations. When fate was handing out skill, we got screwed.

In recent years, however, the pendulum has shifted. It turns out that the intrinsic nature of talent is overrated – our genes don't confer specific gifts.


Which Traits Predict Success? (The Importance of Grit)

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