High Achievers - Grit Vs Self-Control

Posted on December 14th, 2013

What sets high achievers apart?

MacArthur Fellowship grantee Angela Lee Duckworth talks about why success takes “grit,” and whether it’s possible to teach people to be “grittier.”

Grit is the disposition to pursue very long-term goals with passion and perseverance, sustained over time. So the emphasis is on stamina.

Self-control is related — we often measure self-control and grit in the same sample and find a strong correlation — but the difference is time scale. Self-control is the ability to resist momentary distractions and temptations in order to reach a goal, but the goal doesn’t have to be something that you’re pursuing for years or decades. You might have a goal of staying on an exercise routine or doing your homework that night. And if you fail to do that and instead sit on the couch or watch TV, that’s a failure of self-control. But the goal doesn’t have to be something you’re working on for years and years.

Visual Summary

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