During my upbringing, I held the belief that obtaining high academic credentials and displaying exceptional intelligence were pivotal for achieving success. I was convinced that through enrolling in advanced courses, one could secure admission to a prestigious university, leading to a flourishing life. The notion was to diligently study and exert great effort, with the expectation that everything would fall into place.
However, reality often deviates from this simplistic template.
While it holds true that certain individuals possessing remarkable degrees go on to lead successful lives, there are undoubtedly other contributing elements to their triumphs beyond academics. According to Angela Duckworth, the author of the best-selling book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, the most meaningful predictor of future earnings and contentment is not intelligence, talent, or a high IQ. Instead, it is grit.
Duckworth characterizes grit as the fusion of passion and perseverance for long-term objectives, coupled with the capability to persist and follow through on them. Individuals with grit are acknowledged for their robust character and resilience in surmounting challenging circumstances.
Author Angela Duckworth highlights that the predominant factor conducive to leading a contented and successful life is grit.
Learning to rebound from daunting situations typically eludes traditional scholastic curricula. The preparation for adulthood seldom integrates the handling of adversity. Nonetheless, I ardently maintain that nurturing this attribute is pivotal, even from an early age.
I am uncertain about what the future holds for my children. Perhaps my daughter aspires to endeavor as a medical practitioner or an artist, while my son may aim for a vocation as a fashion designer or an architect. What I am certain of is that, regardless of the heights they attain, life will inevitably subject them to setbacks. Despite their diligent efforts, proficiency, and empathy towards themselves and others, life will interpose seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their paths.
This is a universal experience, and I have undergone it on multiple occasions.
When life deals me a blow, I occasionally find myself remaining subdued. I succumb to pessimism and start internalizing that my setbacks delineate my existence. I am prone to overlook the fact that I have the authority to mold my own life and pen my own narrative.
Consequently, I aim to furnish each of my children with a metaphorical parchment and quill, and prompt them to be proactive in life, rather than reactive, akin to their mother.
I endeavor to instruct them on how to ascend above the turmoil when everything around them seems to be crumbling. Drawing from my extensive experience, I have comprehended that this is the crux of contentment and triumph. It necessitates emotional resilience, which will guide them through life’s vicissitudes.
My Approach to Instilling Grit in My Children
Outlined below are a few straightforward methods through which I am imparting the value of grit and resilience to my children.
Prompting Them to Discover Meaning in Challenges
Existence comprises peaks and troughs. We cannot traverse the zeniths without weathering the nadirs. Although it is effortless to showcase our victories on social media, identifying significance in trying times can be advantageous for our personal evolution. While my children are youthful and their setbacks may appear trifling, those low points are just as overwhelming for them. I strive not to disregard their adversities or instruct them to swiftly surmount them. I lend them my ear and reassure them that it is alright to feel crestfallen. It is acceptable to grapple with negative emotions, but crucial to recognize the teachings they impart and employ them as stepping stones for subsequent growth.
Fostering Their Passions
My children harbor fervor for numerous pursuits, hence juggling all their interests is insurmountable. Nonetheless, I endeavor to zealously support their development and inquisitiveness for one or two interests at a time. Nurturing their enthusiasm for domains they are zealous about will also aid them in leveraging that same determination for aspects that may not captivate them as much, such as mathematics.
Persevere, Taking Breaks Instead of Quitting
It is effortless to persist in endeavors we are adept at and relinquish those in which we struggle. I remind my children that perfection is an illusion. When they encounter difficulties, like mastering a musical instrument or a foreign language, the impulse to relinquish is strong. However, how can they flourish in life without undertaking novel challenges or venturing beyond their comfort zone? I imbibed this lesson through hardship. When I feel overwhelmed or contemplate abandoning a pursuit, instead of renouncing it, I take a hiatus. I permit my mind and emotions to reset, and then I resume my endeavors! When my children engage in a game or practice their instruments and voice despondency, my son will pause, take a breath, and whisper, “Don’t quit, just take a break!”