Here’s a fun metric. I’ve increased the total books read (this far) in 2018 by 500%.
Your next question is likely, “How can you increase you’re reading by so such a large percentage?”
Well…It’s easy to do when I’m unable to recall completing a single book that I started in 2017.
I know I’m not the only guilty person that picks up multiple books and puts them back down without reading the final page.
But, at a certain point in time the internet becomes boring, nothing new is on Netflix, my eyes glaze over upon opening Instagram, and the dust is piled so high on my bookshelf it’s now a hazard to my respiratory system. So, I blew off the first layer of dust and swiffered off the second layer, and finally reopened my books.
If you read my completed books list you’ll notice a theme – all of them are some form of personal development (aside from Gail Honeyman’s novel). Business skills, personal growth, leadership are on my mind now, and it doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon.
I most recently finished Grit by Angela Duckworth (here the link to her TED talk.) She’s studying what exactly is grit, how some have grit, what does it take to grow grit, and how can we measure our personal grit.
When asked if hard work or talent is more important the average person will respond “hard work” but studies show that deep down we still believe it’s talent. When the going gets tough it’s easy to say, “I’m just not any good at (insert activity here)” and halt any further progress. Angela studied Olympian athletes, National Spelling Bee champions, and NFL teams (Seattle Seahawks) and found that, yes, some of them were naturals, but many had to learn grit along the way. Talent will only take you halfway across the finish line, it’s the deliberate practice that pushes the person to the finish.
You can have talent and effort that grows the skill. But! Talent x Effort X Effort = Achievement. The deliberate practice has a more impactful outcome than pure skill/talent.
One way to stay motivated to improve your goals is incremental goals that build upon each other to meet your long-term goal. DING DING DING.
Commonsense, but how many of us aren’t working toward a single goal? You go to work, come home, occasionally enjoy a night with friends, rinse and repeat. It’s easy to roll through life on autopilot, complacent, when you’re not growing. Those goals become little magnets that help pull you through these ruts.
The other personal takeaway from Grit is choosing your Choosing Your Hard Thing. Grit is grown when you pick one personal “hard thing” and continue to pursue and grow a skill. It is one thing that is difficult that you must work on daily to improve. You can quit the hard thing, but not until the season, semester, membership, etc is over. It’s a nice reminder to try new things, fail at them, maybe a few times through the season, but see it through until the end. A small way to flex your grit muscle.
All in all, the book is a compelling and quick read. It provides what I see as tips you can use to improve your performance at work or skill at home. It shows us why we see some succeed and others stagnate.
What is your “hard thing” that your currently working on?
What would you like your “hard thing” to be?
In case you’re curious……
- Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine : A Novel – Gail Honeyman
- Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance – Angela Duckworth
- High Performance Habits – Brendon Burchard
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
In – Progress Books: