I decided this week to get back into my studying habits, which have been severely disrupted lately because of a multitude of things, and I couldn’t bring myself to power through until I decided to suck it up today and finally do it. Overdrive also finally had Angela Duckworth’s Grit available yesterday, so I snagged that for the next 21 days to read as one of the books that I’m reading and hoping to finish by the end of the month. The premise is in the subtitle of Grit: “The Power and Passion of Perseverance”. I’m only two chapters in, but it’s already making me think about my life, which is great. I already feel like I’m going to get a lot out of this book.
Duckworth’s quotes Charles Darwin writing in response to his cousin on achievement, whom essentially agrees with her that grit makes more of a difference than natural talent in succeeding: “Excepting fools, men did no differ much in intellect, only in zeal and hard work; and I still think this is an eminently important difference.” She clarifies Darwin’s quote a little further in: “It’s worth pausing to consider Darwin’s opinion on the determinants of achievement – that is, his belief that zeal and hard work are ultimately more important than intellectual ability.” It made me think about the things that I don’t want to do in my life, especially when I’m not feeling well to begin with. I was sickly as a child, even more so now that I’m an adult. I actually hated reading when I was an elementary school child and would always get my mom to read my school assignments to me. Eventually, when my medical problems grew too much, I threw myself into stories in hopes to escape reality. Fanfiction was my first escape, and it was like the Grinch discovered Christmas, and my heart grew several sizes bigger as I felt that I found something in me that I could see myself pursuing: reading. I grew into an awkward, bookworm with plenty of opinions, which was made possible by following my passion for reading and persevering to dedicate myself to spending a good amount of time doing what I love and am passionate about. The internet and various trips to the bookstore and library gave me a plethora of reading material. I read more, absorbed more, and critically thought more (and sometimes applied things to my life), which led me to eventual feelings of personal success as I found more joy in reading and feeling like I was reading my goal to read, and read some more. Reading fiction or non-fiction, just having completed it and sharing it with others is a joy, especially when people are willing to discuss the books that I’ve read with me. I won’t be able to read every book, or get close to reading millions of books, but the ones that I’ve read are often treasured because most of the time, I chose them or had them chosen or recommended to me of which sometimes surprised me with how much I liked it even if I wouldn’t have picked it without them.
In addition, I feel like some of this can even be applied to things such as chores. Starting is harder than doing when I know it’s a task that I can do, but there’s negative feelings attached to it so I don’t want to do it, but I do what needs to be done if it truly needs to be done. If it’s something that I know I can either dedicate myself to it or decide it could just be a passing fancy, there’s less pressure to start, do, and finish whatever project I’m starting. Chores like doing the dishes, washing the laundry, and sweeping the floor are things that need to be done although I take no joy in doing the activities themselves as compared to taking joy in having a much cleaner home.
Grit is something that I would like to think about more, and it seems like something that I would like to try to apply to my life more.