Black Girls Attend Ideas for Tomorrow?

Dr. Angela Duckworth spoke at Cleveland Clinic's Ideas for Tomorrow series at the Intercontinental Hotel to an overflow crowd on a cold, snowy day. These forums grant community members an opportunity to engage in conversations with the world’s most renowned speakers.

Dr. Duckworth is a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania and is well-known for her work on grit. She’s also the Founder and Science Director of Character Lab, which assists children in character development through strengthening their interpersonal, intrapersonal, and intellectual skills.

Dr. Duckworth first spoke about how she left her McKinsey management consultant position to become a math teacher. During her tenure, she noticed that “natural aptitude” did not predict students’ success.  Students with grit may not be the brightest in the class, but they have the passion and perseverance to attain their long-term goals. In short, grit can be developed when you capitalize (or hone in) on your interests.

She also spoke about success and why someone like Will Smith is successful. It is not solely based on his talent, but his determination. Individuals that are successful behold certain habits, assumptions, and beliefs. Passion along with perseverance form fifty percent of grit. In order to reveal true potential, you must gravitate to something that you love and will keep your interest for years. Effort and talent are not the same things. However, effort has the power to unlock your talent.

Deliberate practice assists you in retaining and perfecting your skills:

1.       Set a stretch goal

2.       Focus 100%

3.       Get feedback

4.       Reflect and refine

The feedback informs you of suggested modifications, and praise informs you that you are on the right track.  

So how do you build grit?

1.       Develop your interests before training your weaknesses

2.       Know the science of deliberate practice

3.       Cultivate purpose

4.       Change your mind about changing your mind

I’m glad that I took advantage of this opportunity to hear Dr. Duckworth speak. I left invigorated and ready for a new me. Every day I reminded about the importance of living my best life. Read Duckworth’s book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance to help you start fulfilling your purpose.

Test your grit with Angela Duckworth’s Grit Scale. 


Charesha Barrett