I’ve been searching for the right word trying to define what I perceive to be the difference between Americans of the 21st century and those that came before us.

I’m a bit of a history buff, I’m always reading about the people who built America from the original native Americans to the Greatest Generation. Many overcame unimaginable hardships, frequently over and over. They took risks, they often lost, sometimes lost their lives and their families pressed on.

Those people had grit.

Grit seems out of fashion. Thinking long-term is non-existent. Individual responsibility are dirty words.

Rather, we are bombarded with “get what you deserve,” “others aren’t paying their fair share,” “your entitled,” and “inequality.” In short, we are spoken to and act like children. Finding an excuse is more important than finding a way to persevere. Blaming circumstances, somebody else, the system, society or any scapegoat is appealing to many.

Grit can overcome many obstacles and shortcomings. Grit is why people with less skill, education or even intelligence are successful.

What is grit, and why is it important?

To make sure that we’re all on the same page, here is a basic definition of grit, developed by Angela Duckworth, the psychologist and researcher who coined the term: Grit is passion and perseverance for long term and meaningful goals.

Grit is passion and perseverance for long-term and meaningful goals.

It is the ability to persist in something you feel passionate about and persevere when you face obstacles. This kind of passion is not about intense emotions or infatuation. It’s about having direction and commitment. When you have this kind of passion, you can stay committed to a task that may be difficult or boring.

Grit is also about perseverance. To persevere means to stick with it; to continue working hard even after experiencing difficulty or failure.

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Research indicates that the ability to be gritty—to stick with things that are important to you and bounce back from failure—is an essential component of success independent of and beyond what talent and intelligence contribute (Duckworth 2016).

Why is grit important?

I’m going to say it again because it’s worth repeating, and goes against what we’re taught in school and in our social circles. Grit is important because it is a driver of achievement and success, independent of and beyond what talent and intelligence contribute.

by Caren Baruch-Feldman, PhD, author of The Grit Guide for Teens

Source: What is grit, and why is it important? |


  1. I suspect financial grit has more to do with becoming a wealthy victim of some society injustice rather than earning it…unfortunately our media promotes this culture for useful idiots…ouch.


  2. Grit is a very good word. I wonder how we lost it? I fear the future. At least 3 generations, as a whole population, have not really experienced hardship of World Wars or the Great Depression, where daily rationing affected daily life. We got close with covid but as a whole, very few are really suffering (for now).
    We lost grit, living by the 10 Commandments, and now with the Boy Scouts being sued into extinction, how many boys will grow up without the basic principles of the Scout law?. (Sorry, I am not familiar with the Girl Scouts but I am sure that they also provide similar life guiding principles.)
    Now for everybody who reads this or who say that they read the whole thing, leave a message and I will send you a certificate of participation.


  3. Good observation Richard…and Angela. Grit, among other character qualities, is essential for success. Obstacles will come. Standing up to them and pressing through them takes “grit”. These lessons and good character, in general, are being dismissed as “old school” and even offensive to those who will pander to the “victims” who have been trained to wait for someone else to overcome their obstacles.


  4. Words change over time. Grit is now a dirty word like “grit and grime” You know, that stuff you need to clean out of the sink once the dishes are done. Remember when “gay” meant merry or carefree.


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