Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
The psychologist most responsible for the study of grit, Angela Duckworth, defines it as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.”1 It’s a combination of zeal and persistence even in the absence of encouraging feedback. So grit isn’t just about trying hard. Anyone can try hard . . . once. Grit means continuing to try hard after you’ve already failed. One of the best examples of that you’ll ever come across is a man you probably already know and admire.
When he was ...