“As any coach or athlete will tell you, consistency of effort over the long run is everything.”
Angela Duckworth, Grit – The Power of Passion and Perseverance, (2016)
This is a great book, a massive best seller a few years ago (it remained on the New York Times best sellers list for 20 weeks. She also has 18 million hits on her TED talk on this subject.) This is great research on why some people succeed very well and become masters and experts in their field and why others with talent do not.
The key is finding your passion in a a field and then having persistence to keep practicing, learning and correcting (even when you fail or get it wrong) over many years.
Angela has created a grit scale test that can show you or a potential hire if that person will succeed in their field or job. Just having a high test mark from school or University doesn’t correlate with success on the job. But having perseverance and not giving up, does.
In order to not give up you must home in on your passion. The passion will give you the drive to persist, especially through the rough and down periods when things are not going well.
She summarises mastery into two equations:
Talent x Effort = Skill
Skill x Effort = Achievement
The more you practice and don’t give up, the higher the chance of achieving mastery in a field or job. Talent can help but it is the effort that really does it. In fact you can have very little talent up front but with persistent effort become a master in your field.
A lot of experts and geniuses in their fields actually got that way through huge long term effort and yet only had average talent in the beginning, if that.
The same with Mindfulness practice – the more you practice, the more you will learn and correct, and in the long run, mastery will be there.