What makes others succeed in business or even life, while others do not? Grit. Plain and simple. I really like this idea from http://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_the_key_to_success_grit on how we need to teach our children that the brain grows and changes in response to challenge. When you don’t believe that failure is a permanent condition, you are more likely to persevere. Wow. Let’s think about that shall we. This relates to my last post as well. Don’t you wish that some of your friends had more “grit” than they currently have? Why? Because it would help them grow. We have to be willing to fail in order to succeed. How crazy is that thought??
As a teacher, I saw the students who had true grit accomplish many things. Perhaps I had it as well because there were many times my first year of teaching I wanted to quit. Many, many, many times. Teaching in a very difficult neighborhood, in an area known for poverty and police tape was scary. Seeing the kids you taught overcome obstacles in their lives, now that took grit on their part.
You can start over again with lessons learned. Just because it didn’t work out the way you thought it would the first time does NOT mean you are a failure. You have learned something new. So we need to teach our children the meaning of failure and pulling yourself back up again. So on this last week of school, if you are a teacher reading this, I want you to know we have all been there. Every single teacher I know has had a year he or she wanted to quit. Even if only for a second. It’s okay to think that way. As long as you know you are not alone and that next year is a brand new year to try again. Start over with new plans, new ideas, and new ways of doing things because let’s face, the curriculum changes almost every year anyway. So rest easy this summer, and make a plan for showing your students some true grit come fall. You’ll be ready.
Ultimately there is no such thing as failure. There are lessons learned in different ways.