Sunday, March 26, 2017

It's Not About Your Dream, It's About Your Grit

It’s Not About Your Dream, It’s About Your Grit

What do you dream to be? This is a question that I have asked my children and students countless times. It’s a good question, right? I think it is. However, in my reflection I realize that asking that question in isolation does not best serve our students. In order to better serve our students we should start asking, “What is your grit like?” Grit, as defined by Angela Duckworth, is “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.”

If we really want every student reaching their dream, we need to find out about their grit. Anyone can share their dream with you, but what if we start asking this follow up question with our students and even our own children? “You have a great dream, now how are you going to get there?”  Let’s not sugarcoat this. Reaching your dream is hard work. There will be many obstacles along the way.

When I work with sports teams, I explain to them that there are three things that can hinder their success:  fear of failure, fear of criticism, and fear of hard work.
Gritty people embrace the challenge, accept feedback, and continually work very hard. Harvey Mackay said, “The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful
people do those things that unsuccessful people don’t like to do.” I feel that fear of criticism is the biggest obstacle for most adults and students. We are a society that loves to fling feedback, but are usually resistant to receive it. We need to teach our youth to have a growth mindset. Feedback should be for growing, not for groaning. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that there are times that the feedback is upsetting, but if we don’t reflect on what’s being said, true change can never occur. Without change a dream never becomes reality. If we are to provide our students with the tools to reach their dreams, we need to start teaching them to find their grit.

So, the next time you are speaking with someone about their dreams, don’t forget to ask them about their GRIT!!!