I would love to share the book I have read last month, discussed in my Women’s Book Club.

Grit by Angela Duckworth.

The first hook of this book was the definition of Grit, it says it is a combination of passion and perseverance, which makes the people special making them high achievers.

What about Talent or Strive? What is more important for success?

In our social standards, we normally think Talent is the most important attribute for success! There are these talent shows in the television and the assessment regarding the performance is normally perceived as the result of a natural gift. But as the book says, the people who go to this type of show put a lot of working hours preparing it, have a lot of discipline to perform at a high level. Plus, these candidates are very passioned! Well is this Talent or Strive?

I prefer to believe success is driven by Strive rather than Talent. For something we are very passioned, if success depends on perseverance and discipline, we have better chances to control the number of hours we put into it and be happy, if depends only from the natural talent, it is something we can’t control, so pray to God to be one of the gifted ones.

This concept to me comes with a refreshing mindset, for example, I attended an engineering school, which was considered for elite students in Portugal, only the smart students could have access to get in. Well, I was not gifted, that’s for sure, I always had to put so much time studying, but I always believed I couldn’t get better grades because I was not smart enough!

I have to say, looking back, I believe I didn’t do better, because engineer subjects were like pure math, physics and these were not my primary my passion, not because I was not smart enough!

The author of the book did a lot of research about Grit, and there is a lot of pieces of evidence in the book about strivers vs gifted. Actually, there is a full chapter in the book called “Effort counts twice”.

In this chapter is presented the following:

Talent x Effort = Skill

Talent is how quickly your skills improve when you invest effort.

Skill x Effort = Achievement

Achievement is what happens when you take your acquired skills and use them.

So, as you can see the effort for achievement counts twice! This means to reach anything in your life, more than anything is a necessary effort! And this is what counts!

Then it comes with the HOW you use your effort, this means which resources are you using during the time you are putting the effort for certain skills.

Like having the opportunity to have a great coach, teacher, the best classes, access to the best of the area, parents who really invest their time in their practice’s children.

The reason I am writing this post and referencing this book is to reinforce that your dream is achievable, and the time and the effort that you decide to put into it is what matters.

I listen to many people saying, “Oh yes I would love to, it is my dream, but it is not for me!”.

I used to say the same… more I used not even think about it.

Talent or Strive_ Grit

But now it is time to stop and think what is the Dream, the thing which really brings passion, and keeps you motivated then go for it!

When I say go for it! Means think in a plan…think that is possible, think how much effort can you put in your dream. It doesn’t need to be all or nothing, can be a journey.

This is what I am doing with life coaching! Since I owned my dream about helping other people to pursue their dreams, I feel more confident and I am planning some of the tasks on the way, building networking, I took a certification, know the best of the business by going to conferences and events, reading books. And living these moments make me so happy, even they are only the initial milestones!

Another example is my husband. His dream since he was a child is being an astronaut.  Being in Portugal the resources were very limited to pursue that dream so he never thought about it really.

Since we moved to the US, the resources are closer so he started to meet people from that environment, learning more about what a career in aerospace looks like, and he now has a dream again, the dream from his childhood, be an astronaut… he says even if I won’t be an astronaut I want to contribute and work in aerospace. Now you can imagine how much time beyond everything in his life he needs to put into it? A lot… but he got his first accomplishment, he is now a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Space. This achievement took him 3 years, and this is really the first step to be connected to a group that is in the area.

I define this Grit.

I define this Strive.

So please just believe it can be possible to follow your Dreams.

Thank you


3 Comments on Talent or Strive

  1. W ow ! thanks for these words of encouragement. I was fortunate to come from a line of strong empowered Women. They really displayed for me what hard work and talent looked like! My Grandma used to say hard work trumps talent every time. And my mom always told us to ” GRIT and Push” – “Get Right In There” and Push! So glad you are empowering those around you. Your Gift will make room for you! luv ya!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.