Part 1 | Strengths and Grit

IMG_8953April 26, 2016

5 Thoughts


Scholar and author, Angela Duckworth, defines grit as “a combination of passion and perseverance for a singularly important goal”.  She even invented the tool for measuring it: The Grit Scale.

So, what does this mean for us?  Well, if we don’t already possess it, we can be inspired by those who do, which is virtually everyone who has ever had a biography written about them—well-known examples include, J.K. Rowling, who was rejected by 12 publishers before finding a home for Harry Potter; and, Thomas Edison, with his 1000 failed attempts at the light bulb.

Better than being inspired, we can also learn from those who have grit and borrow their tactics.  Duckworth observes that it’s about more than just hard work, it’s about developing a persistent belief in the vision and adapting ways of staying actively engaged in its pursuit, especially when the going gets tough.

This is to say that grit involves: hard work, persistence, belief, adaptability, action, and engagement (aka a focus on strengths).  More than that, this success principle is based on an intersection of mind and body—one’s ability to put in the hours physically and stay true to the focus.

It’s important to acknowledge that grit is found first in the hands of an underdog: someone who has the odds against them, needs a miracle, or is laughed for their vision.  After all, would there be any need for grit from someone who is not attempting the difficult, the impossible, the never-been-done-before, or the unknown?

*Think of that person in your life who is practicing grit and going against the odds and send them a little message today, let them know that you believe them.

3 Questions

What are my core beliefs?

Am I someone who sticks things out even when it’s tough?  Yes, no, sometimes, it depends?

Why do giraffes have purple tongues?

One Action

This is an action that strengthens the brain and improves your abilities to hold complex pictures in your mind—a skill that is handy for problem-solving and solution-creation.  Add to that, it’s fun.  Here’s how it works, find three photographs, postcards, or magazine images.  Lay them out in front of you, one next to the other.  Set the timer on your phone for 3 minutes.  During this time, memorize the images, soak them in down to their last pixel.  When the time goes off, reset it for another 3 minutes and sit back with your eyes closed.  In that relaxed position try to recreate each image in your mind detail by detail.  See and re-see everything in your mind.  Do not open your eyes and peek until the timer goes off.  Practice this daily for best results.

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

Circle Photo

Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at

His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world.  He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Transformation Coach.

Connect with him:


Twitter: @zstrengthslife

Facebook: Zachary Carlsen

6 thoughts on “Part 1 | Strengths and Grit

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s