Your tenacity will set you apart from more intelligent or gifted opponents. It’s the one thing that keeps you going when everyone else has given up.
True, your talent and intelligence can help you. However, it is your passion and tenacity that will drive you to put up the most effort in order to achieve your achievement.
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Social scientists such as Dr. Carol Dweck and Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth have conducted studies that suggest that having a high IQ does not ensure success in life.
Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth explained in her TED address that IQ did not identify who her best and worst students were. She discovered that some of her greatest performers did not have genius-level IQs, and that her students who did have the coveted high IQs were not doing so well.
GRIT was what the best pupils have. Dr. Duckworth characterized it as “passion and perseverance toward long-term goals.”
But why is grit more vital than intelligence? Here are three major reasons.
We Raise Smart Kids, they Aren’t Just Born
Many of us automatically think of Albert Einstein when we hear the word “genius.”
However, Einstein was not born a genius. He was regarded to be mentally retarded, if not impaired. He didn’t say much, and he didn’t do well in school. Even he would admit that his intelligence was unimportant.
“It’s not that I’m brilliant; it’s just that I deal with challenges for a longer period of time. Most people believe that a great scientist is distinguished by his or her intellect. They are mistaken: it is character.”
Focusing On IQ Can Be A Fixed Mindset
There is a widespread belief that intelligence is a solitary idea. Most people believe they can’t modify their score because it’s based on their natural skills.
If a child believes they lack the ability to succeed for an extended period of time, they can acquire learned helplessness. A child who has learnt helplessness simply gives up. They give up no matter what form of encouragement or reward is given to them.
A fixed mindset leads to learned helplessness, which is the feeling that your situation is hopeless and beyond your control.
In arithmetic, my eldest kid had learnt powerlessness. When he was in first and second grade, he was pushed into arithmetic that was far more difficult than he could handle.
He tried at first, but after a few months, he stopped trying to answer the questions, instead of writing 0s and 1s in a random sequence on the answer lines.
It took him two years of tutoring with me and another year with a superb math teacher to break free from his taught helplessness and fixed perspective. We began by returning to types of arithmetic he was familiar with in order to re-establish his confidence and skill.
The IQ Test Has Flaws
Intelligence, according to experts, is much more than one thing. It consists of distinct cognitive talents such as short-term memory, logic, and language skills.
They also discovered that different circuits or pathways in the brain are used for these various mental processes, implying that we would require at least THREE separate tests to assess someone’s IQ.
Furthermore, cognitive abilities are not the only thing that matter.
Non-cognitive abilities exist as well. They are tenacity, grit, and perseverance. The US Department of Education’s Office of Technology emphasized in its 2013 brief that these talents
“…are essential to an individual’s capacity to strive for and succeed at long-term and higher-order goals…”
For years, experts have understood that the test is inaccurate when it comes to predicting success. Lewia Terman, an education psychologist, initiated research in 1921 to examine the achievement and advancement of over 1,000 students who had taken the IQ test. None of the people he categorized as having a high IQ went on to achieve great success.
Furthermore, he excluded two future Nobel Prize-winning physicists from the study because their test scores were insufficient.
Professor Michael Howe agrees in his book Genius Explained:
“What distinguishes geniuses is their long-term dedication. They work extremely hard and continue to persevere.”
He cites other geniuses such as Charles Darwin, who was regarded to be aimless and shiftless, and the Bronte sisters, who polished their literary talents through many years of hard work.
And none of these guys were prodigies as children. They were ordinary people like you and me. These geniuses worked, practised, and focused on one thing until they perfected it, with the help and encouragement of their parents.
Using Challenges to Teach Your Children Grit
So, how can you instil GRIT in your children?
Dr. Duckworth defines grit as “passion and perseverance toward long-term goals.”
Savegrit is defined as a strong desire to achieve long-term goals.
So teaching grit consists of three components: perseverance, long-term goals, and love for these goals. We talked about perseverance here, and we’ll talk about passion and goal-setting in future blog articles.
Choose a Challenge
Peter Diamandis recently discussed parenting for success in a podcast. It turns out that many successful adults endured tremendous challenges as children, such as poverty, the loss of a parent, or a learning handicap. These early experiences served as “practise” for conquering obstacles, which aided them later in life.
Although Richard Branson did not experience such issues as a child, his mother would purposely incorporate challenges into his daily life. Branson attributes his grit and overall success to this.
You could do it as well.
You can assist your child in creating his or her own tasks to be proud of. Talk to them and find out what they consider to be a serious obstacle for them, then assist them in developing a plan to overcome it.
If they can’t decide on a task, propose them play one of our bingo games, “My Reading Bingo” or “My Outside Adventures Bingo.”
One advantage is that a bingo game will take more than a day to complete. This will allow your children to practise sticking to long-term goals (which is what grit is all about).
Help Them Through
Once you’ve set a task for your children, walk them through the process.
For example, I emphasize my boys’ hard work in every obstacle. I emphasize the importance of the process and what they learnt rather than whether or not they were successful.
Believe in your ability; Recognize how you can improve, and Desire to succeed.
Your child is unlikely to achieve if he or she does not believe in his or her own abilities. They must also understand that you believe they have what it takes. “You can do it,” tell them. I’m confident you can.”
They must then recognize where they can improve. David Cooperrider’s work on Appreciative Inquiry inspired this.
They begin by investigating what occurred. What’s good, what’s bad, and what’s ugly. Then have them consider what they did well. You can move on to what could have gone better after they name one thing. Then have them consider what they can do differently the next time so they don’t make the same mistake.
This instils in them a will to succeed. It feels fantastic to finish something you were struggling with. Experiencing what success feels like for your children keeps the ball moving, and they want to keep feeling that incredible high of success.
This method works exceptionally well after a heavy defeat. It works because we don’t accept defeat as the final word. Your child is moving away from ideas of quitting and toward making a plan for the next time. They’re getting down to business.
Encourage High Performance
When your child starts working on his challenges, he may want to finish them as soon as possible. Instead, encourage them to finish it to the best of their abilities. You may inquire:
“Have you done everything you could here?”
This method is referred to as an Environment of Excellence by education specialist and author Ron Berger. This is a setting – whether at home or in the classroom – that encourages work to be done to the best of one’s ability.
This is when the child learns to value the quality of their work over the speed with which they completed that math lesson or the number of words they utilized in this essay.
Their horizons will broaden if they execute to the best of their abilities. According to Berger’s book, An Ethic of Excellence: Creating a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students,
“Excellence in work has a transformative effect. When a student realizes that he or she is capable of excelling, that student is never the same again. There is a new sense of possibility, as well as a new self-image.”
How To Teach Kids Grit Bottom Line
There are three key reasons why GRIT outperforms IQ as a predictor of success.
We Raise Smart Kids, they Aren’t Just Born
Growing up, people like Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin were regarded to be mentally weak. They then ascribed their intelligence to years of hard study.
Focusing On IQ Can Be A Fixed Mindset
Most individuals believe they can’t modify their IQ because it’s based on their intrinsic abilities. This fosters a fixed worldview and a sense of helplessness.
The IQ Test has flaws
Even if a child performs well on an IQ test, it only tests one aspect of his brain, leaving out most of the cognitive and ALL of the non-cognitive abilities that are necessary for success.