Grit to Great or what we can learn from perseverance

I’ve picked up this book to learn a bit about perseverance and the power of pursuing goals. I’ve hoped to see if there is something I could learn about it for my new year’s resolutions.

It turned out to be a great book about being humble and to get rejected. Let me explain. The concept of grit means that one has the guts to do something. The resilience to get rejected. The initiative to start working on the next steps regardless of the outcome, and, finally the tenacity – the ability to focus on the goals.

The last one is an important one for the new year’s resolutions, but the resilience is an interesting quality. One can go on autopilot for the mundane things, but still needs the resilience when things go wrong. Sounds a bit like academic careers. We plan studies, conduct them, try to publish, get rejected, improve the papers, try to publish, etc.

We also need to have initiative to move the field of our study forward. We need to come up with new project ideas, submit research proposals. Get rejected. Fine tune the proposals, resubmit somewhere else, and so on.

Finally, the guts is a big quality. Researchers need to have the guts to take on big problems, to plan and conduct the studies, to speak in front of large audiences. Yes, speaking is not something that comes easy to most of us. We still need to prepare and find what we want to say and how. We need to adjust the talks based on the audience, the message and the goal of the talk.

It’s a great book to get some motivation for the work after the vacations. Work hard, publish, apply for funding and work even harder. Amidst all of that, please remember that you need to have students with you and that they need your attention too!

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