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It is important for any person to be a success to have grit.  The ability to work hard against all odds.  Genuis on its own cannot make one successful at any thing.  It wasn’t the apple falling that brought Newton to gravity but his hard work and hours of experiments and writing numerous scribblings until he came up with his book “Principia” 21 years later in 1687.

Researchers now believe that grit and conscientiousness are better predictors of success than IQ is.  In fact a study by Duckworth on West Point grads (the Elite Military Academy in US) found that the best way to find out which cadets will successfully complete the entire course is know the person’s grit.

In fact, it wasn’t until Duckworth tested the cadets of the 2008 West Point class using a questionnaire – the test consists of statements such as “Setbacks don’t discourage me” – that the Army found a measurement that actually worked. Duckworth has since repeated the survey with subsequent West Point classes, and the result is always the same : the cadets that remain are those with grit.

Francis Galton wrote in his book “Hereditary Genius”, which went into factors underlying achievement, that:

“ability combined with zeal and the capacity for hard labour.”

According to a study, interesting thing is that praising kids unnecessarily (very common in the US) actually reduces the grit component.

Reference links:

The truth about grit