Do you ever observe someone and try and identify what makes them successful?
I wonder if successful people have luck on their side; have the right-place-at-the-right-time going for them, or have skills and traits unique to them and their related success. Have you ever observed someone that had none of the traits you believe contribute to success, and yet, they're successful nonetheless.
What is the secret component of resulting success?
A few years ago I found a TED Talk which seemed to answer this question. Angela Duckworth, a school teacher, wanted to understand why some of her students excelled while others didn't. She observed that IQ wasn't an accurate predictor of success. As environment and IQ didn't seem to be the sole predictor for success, she worked to untangle the traits inherent in these students that helped explain their achievements.
Her finding was that these students all had a high-level of GRIT.
Grit is the essentially the ability to fall on one's face repeatedly and get back up and try again. We frequently hear of the finale of success but are less familiar with the trials and tribulations associated with achieving success in the first place. For example, did you know that Telsa's founder, Elon Musk, starting building electric cars in 2003, and never actually sold his first car until 2008 - 5 years later. In addition, his company had many challenges even after this first sale.
Could you, or more importantly, would you, stick with something for five years with no tangible success and still believe in the eventual outcome?
Did you know that the creator of Angry Birds (the app) made 51 failed games over the course of six years before his 'overnight' success story with Angry Birds?
The point is that success in anything isn't linear - you don't start from zero and head straight to success. The path will be winding and challenging. You might get worse before you get better. You might see others who appear to succeed faster than you.
The reason I'm sharing this is that repaying debt can require GRIT. I want you to expect difficulty. Expect moods to swing. Expect some self-doubt. Expect a challenge!
As this is the final 'Debt-Step', I felt it appropriate to wrap things up with Angela Duckworth's TedTalk. Have a watch, and then Get GRITTY!!!
After today, you can expect to receive articles on all aspects of personal finance to help get you out of debt and master your finances.