Grit: You Better Get You Some!

I really want to talk about the importance of Grit in achieving your goals. For all my folks on this pre-health journey, I’m sure you can relate. If you were ever an athlete or ever had to overcome adversity to accomplish a goal, well then you’re most likely familiar with this term:


Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” – Angela Lee Duckworth

Personally, I am convinced that to accomplish your goals, whether it’s a fitness goal, a career goal, or an academic goal, you need Grit.

photoIn her Ted Talk, Angela Lee Duckworth, a Psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, describes Grit as the key to success. She studied kids and adults in very challenging situations i.e. West Point Military Academy, rookie teachers in tough neighborhoods, and private companies, and observed that:

In all those very different contexts, one characteristic emerged as a significant predictor of success. It wasn’t social intelligence. It wasn’t good looks, physical health, and it wasn’t I.Q. It was grit.”

Now if you ever struggled with a course i.e. Organic Chemistry, this is good news. One obstacle doesn’t predict your success as a future Physician. Your ability to persevere and keep striving towards your goal does. In other words, intelligence is not the sole predictor of academic and professional achievement.

According to Wiki, Grit can be described as a powerful motivation to achieve an objective. “This perseverance of effort promotes the overcoming of obstacles or challenges that lie within a gritty individual’s path to accomplishment and serves as a driving force in achievement realization.”

When you think Grit, think:

  • Perseverance
  • Resilience
  • Ambition
  • Need for Achievement
  • Conscientiousness

Folks have asked me why I choose to do seemingly painful activities like obstacle racing or long distance running. Besides loving the sense of accomplishment I get, I personally believe it helps to strengthen or reinforce that grit within me. On some runs I have thought to myself:

“Derin don’t stop. Keep going. You can slow down, but don’t stop. NEVER stop. You can do this. Just like you can beast the MCAT. You WILL be triumphant. Just keep trying. Keep pushing. You CAN do this!”

So yea, want to accomplish some goals? Get you some Grit. 

2 thoughts on “Grit: You Better Get You Some!

  1. Pingback: Meet Micky – A 1st Year Med Student at Icahn School of Med at Mt. Sinai | Curve balls and Med school

  2. Pingback: Book Review: “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren | Curve balls and Med school

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