Did you ever find yourself stuck in a relationship, working on something you didn’t love, or even stuck in a place witch kills your creativity or maybe, focusing on problems with no resolution, instead of taking steps towards a better you ?
When you think about your life, do you think about what you don’t have? Or, do you think about all the things you have?
If you always think about what you do not have, do you find time to be grateful for what you have ?
In my conversation with people who seek my help, I always ask them “ What are you focusing on ?”, and more then often I get the feeling that they are a bit upset about the past, or worrying to much about future.
The simple truth is that we live only in present, so I say to them “let’s make each moment count! “.
Once you understand this, and you break your negative beliefs, it is the moment to decide your goal and take action towards it. What will happen next is that you will immediately start to feel more alive, grateful, courageous, hopeful and genuinely more happier.
I would love to give you a magic formula for happiness, but I must tell you the truth. And the simple truth my friend, is that your success and happiness relies on the value you create for yourself and for others.
Nobody can decide for another human being what’s the thing that will make that person immensely happy or successful.
You get to decide for yourself! But understand this, you enhance your life by understanding what matters the most for you and act accordingly with your core beliefs.
Below I’ve put down, in no particular order, different attitudes and actions that years of research on “What you need to be happy ?” have narrowed down to this:
have a positive attitude about life and future.
do sports at least once a week, often on a daily basis.
enjoy every moment and enjoys the simple pleasures of life.
pursue your goals and aspirations with perseverance.
have the power and the ability to cope with the difficulties tragedies and adversities.
have a full, socially active life and spend time engaging in the life of friends and family.
Did you decide?! Do you know what you have to do next?
Is it OK to fail? Most people believe that failure is something to be embarrassed about, and even a subject that needs to be avoided, in order to show others only the “good side”. On contrary, my believes are
What makes someone with early potential develop that talent in a way that results in high performance or greatness?
The volume, The Psychology of High Performance: Developing Human Potential into Domain-Specific Talent, addresses that question by examining outstanding performance across five different domains: academic disciplines (mathematics and psychology), arts production (culinary arts and drawing/painting), arts performance (dance and acting), professions (medicine, software engineering, and professional teams), and sport (golf and team sports).
The book was, in part, inspired by a famous study by Benjamin Bloom and colleagues in 1985, which retrospectively examined the trajectories of world-class athletes, artists, scholars and professionals. The work, the authors write, “remains a valid and elegant reporting of the developmental stages of instruction experienced by his study participants. What was missing … is an explicit description of psychosocial dimensions of eminent achievement.”
The study of expertise has expanded in recent years to examine similarities and differences across multiple domains (see the Journal of Expertise), and this edited volume brings together scholars across various disciplines. Rena, Paula, and Frank kindly responded to three questions regarding their new book.
What have we learned since Bloom’s original contribution on the psychology of high performance?
Ironically, one of the major things that we have learned since Bloom’s (1985) study is how much he got correct. The importance of looking at talent withindomains; providing the right resources both within and outside of school; the importance of the family, especially in the earliest years; the right teachers and mentors at particular stages on the developmental trajectory in a domain; and a community of learners are still key factors in the advancement of high performance.
Since 1985, we have since learned that psychosocial skills and insider knowledge interact with ability to enhance the likelihood of progress to the next level of talent development, and we do have some ideas about which psychosocial skills matter broadly across domains.
We still need to identify psychosocial skills unique to domains and who is best placed to convey these skills and knowledge. Also, we have little to go on regarding developmental benchmarks for talent development, largely because we assume that present performance is the best predictor of future performance—but it may be that present performance is not the sole predictor.
A better predictor may be the capacity to develop and maintain critical psychosocial skills. For example, what happens to a talented individual who loses passion for the domain, stops practicing intensely, or is unable to focus?
All domains change over time in response to societal demands. For example, medicine has needed to increase sub-specialization and pay more attention in training protocols to interacting and communicating with patients.
Aesthetics within fields of performance also change and as a result, preparation changes (witness that in the education of artists, the basic skill of drawing has become optional in the curriculum and preference is given to learning what you need to know to do the art you want to do).
Commonalities across talent development domains can be divided into several categories. The first is the personal category. In addition to domain-specific ability and creativity, passion, persistence in the face of failure or setbacks, and engaging in the work of the discipline or field over time are useful across domains.
The second category is environmental. Social, emotional, and financial support are critical. Even in domains where the tools or equipment that is required is relatively inexpensive, the resource of time is key, and time is dependent on a certain amount of fiscal resources.
The third factor is chance, which involves both the personal and environmental. The individual developing talent needs to be on the lookout for opportunities and ready and willing to take up opportunities as they arise. There are a lot of talented individuals aiming for the top and typically there are more talented individuals than there are opportunities.
It is important to note that domains differ in important ways as well. For example, talent trajectories begin, peak, and end at different times. And within domains, there are early and late specialization fields, those that focus more on teamwork and others that are more individual, those that expect large commitments to education and those that do not, and those that require a great deal of disciplined or deliberate practice and those that require less.
The next steps for the field will be to categorize these similarities and differences based on research and the best practices presented in this book and translate this information into a testable model.
What can we learn from talent selection and development from sports that has the potential to be applied in academic settings?
Sports provides several key lessons. First, the domain of sport relies more on sport-specific criteria than do academic fields. They use actual performance as a selection tool. Individuals are asked to play the sport, often with other equally talented athletes who are trying out, and those who perform best are selected. Teachers (coaches) do the selection with pretty good accuracy.
Second is the importance of ongoing disciplined practice. We use the term disciplined rather than deliberate practice because the nature of the “practice” that one needs to engage in to succeed in physics or acting may be very different than the deliberate practice required in sport, but it is still practice in the discipline.
Sport has long recognized the importance of psychosocial skills like coping with performance anxiety—particularly at the elite levels of competition. Sports take place in front of audiences where one has supporters and individuals who are not rooting for you and you have got to learn to be able to “shut out” distractions and get the job done. Similarly, games are played almost weekly or even more frequently, and athletes have got to put their best selves on the field or court on every occasion. Thus, an athlete is trained to “pick oneself up” after losses, understand the lessons the loss provides, and move forward to try to win the next game. Sports psychologists are integrated into this important component of training. We leave the development of these skills to chance for academically talented individuals, but we could place more of a focus on developing them.
Sport also seems to have many different avenues for gaining experience in the early years—through school teams, park district activities, club sports, and so on. These opportunities are open to all children and get more selective as they progress.
In other words, “on ramps” are readily available. Parents know and accept the idea of starting young children with exposure and progressing to increasingly more selective and competitive opportunities. We do not have such “on ramps” in academics and parents do not have the same knowledge or acceptance of the idea.
However, we argue that many of the advantages of sport come with it being a performance domain, and other performance domains such as elite music performance also offer useful lessons for academic domains. As in sport, in developing elite musical talent, there are explicit criteria for selection based on performance, and diminished reliance on abstract tests. Teachers are often practicing professionals and provide individualized instruction – much of the talent development work is conducted one-on-one.
Teacher selection is also key and sometimes more important than the reputation of the music institution. And beyond one-on-one lessons, there are master classes sharing instruction with all the students of one teacher. Additionally, for a student to progress, he or she needs to pass muster every year in front of the whole department.
Finally, there are “Reality 101” classes requiring students learn how to behave in professional environments, how to handle stress, how to get an agent, and other practical skills required to facilitate success.
These skills would also be useful in academic domains and universities are now beginning to have classes on succeeding in academia or translating your doctoral degree into success outside the academy.
Take a Goal Setting Skills Test and find out if you need to work on your goal setting skills.
⏱Goal Setting Skills Test takes up to 5 MINUTES.
Are you right on target with your goals? Goal setting is an important component of success, whether you are aspiring to reach objectives in sports, school, career or your personal life.
Aspire too high and you may become frustrated and give up; aspire too low and you will never push yourself to reach your full potential.
Take this Goal Setting Skills Test, and find out if whether your goal-setting attitude and behavior are conducive to success.
Examine the following statements carefully and then indicate how often or to what degree you agree with them.
In order to receive the most accurate results, please answer each question as honestly as possible.
After finishing this test you will receive a FREE snapshot report with a summary evaluation and graph. You will then have the option to purchase the full results for $6.95.
Since the release of Grit: The Power and Passion of Perseverance, many people have been reflecting a lot on the research, the book, and the impact on society of a mindset like :
“To be gritty is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To be gritty is to hold fast to an interesting and purposeful goal. To be gritty is to invest, day after week after year, in challenging practice. To be gritty is to fall down seven times, and rise eight.”
In this instant bestseller, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.”
Grit (the book) offers a strong case for substantiating the premise that when it comes to successful outcomes, grit trumps talent every time. Duckworth is a scientist and her claim is convincing not because she believes it (although she does) but because of numerous studies that she has cited, may of which she has engaged in herself.
Unlike talent, which is fixed and remains fairly constant through life, grit can be developed and strengthened through intentional practices many of which she describes in the book.
Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success.
The examples that she uses are taken from a wide range of situations, fields and experiences including athletics, performing artists, outstanding entrepreneurs, spelling bee winners, and West Point cadets.
Since my area of interest and fascination is in the area of human performance, excelling at your passions, I found her theory applicable and relevant. From the years of study, work and personal observation in assisting others to grow stronger, I feel Duckworth’s research and theory validate the next conclusions about the ways that we can all grow grit:
Know what lights you up, where you feel enthusiastic, alive and happy. Know your deepest values and what your keen areas of interest are. Strengthen the desire to more deeply understand your chosen field. Being proactive to learn more will be fuel in your tank for the long haul.
Having the fortitude to hang in there even when it is challenging or difficult
- Concentration and Attention
Bring focused attention to your chosen area of interest and avoid distractions.
Keep your eye on the goal and take actions that are aligned with it.
Cultivate the attitude that “If it’s to be, it’s up to, me.” Hold yourself as being at cause rather than at effect of the process.
Cultivate a hopeful, optimistic orientation. This serves to drown out critical voices of doom in the mind, discouraging words from others, and thoughts that can diminish your enthusiasm.
Allowing sufficient time to devote to your specific area to use it for deliberate practice.
The journey towards any valuable goal takes more patience than we think it should and the practice of mindfulness is a great strengthener of patience.
The willingness to exert yourself.
The philosopher Ken Keyes says, “The secret of life is sticking with it.” Just don’t quit.
Be willing to face and endure discomfort and pain in the process of fulfilling your vision.
Create new habits through diligent practice.
The development of grit requires support. Enlist and engage with role models, mentors, teachers, coaches, and those who are further along on a similar path.
Be willing to exercise your imagination and take the road less traveled.
We will need some to stay with it when the process is difficult or boring.
Sticking with the process allows us to constantly improve even when there is repeated frustration.
Some people have a flare up of infatuation with an area of interest and are obsessed with it for a short time, but then drop it. Those with grit maintain their passionate area of interest spanning over many years. Their enthusiasm endures.
Get back on the horse after you are thrown but don’t forget to learn from your experience.
Invite feedback, especially negative feedback from trusted friends and colleagues.
- Purpose and Meaning
Choose goals that enhance the lives and well-being of others a well as your own. When we find out what our special gifts are and are busy giving them to our community, we know that we are contributing to the well being of others.
If you have a passionate interest in excelling at your dreams, these are some ways you can grow some more grit. The qualities mentioned above will position you well so that you are likely to manifest your vision.
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