True grit – learn to fail or fail to learn

I’ve failed over and over again in my life – that’s why I succeed, said Basketball legend Michael Jordan.

It is not failure that is important but our response to it.  What you do next.  Government Minister Nick Hurd went on record in August to say that one of the most important qualities in life is ‘grit’, that is resilience.  And he thinks that our education system has designed it out.

According to Emotional Intelligence theory, true grit and resilience is the best indicator for future success.  Yes, far more likely to result in material successes than IQ and more likely to result in sporting successes than ‘raw talent’.  This goes for everything in education from maths to music.  It is amazing how much ‘natural ability’ you can develop by putting in ten thousand hours of practice.  Or as snooker legend Ray Reardon responded when his opponent met his wonderful shot with ‘that was lucky’, ‘Yes, I find the more I practice the luckier I get’.

Not convinced yet?  The Ford Motor Company that revolutionised automobile production was Henry Ford’s third attempt.  But that slips into the realm of lucky breaks for people like Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken.  And Thomas Eddison’s response when asked why he did not give up when he had a thousand failures in trying to invent the light bulb?  ‘I have not failed, I have succeeded a thousand times in determining what does not work’.  (There is a beautiful ‘re-frame’ for you, as well as resilience).  And back to Michael Jordan?  He missed more than 9000 shots in his career and lost 300 games.  But we forget those when someone succeeds in becoming a legend.  What is your potential?

Dr Peter Parkes will be keynote speaker at the annual conference of Potential Plus UK on the 26th October.

Our next training on Building Resilience & Managing Stress runs 15/16th October.

Read reviews of our speaking engagements on Building Resilience and Managing Stress on the APM website.