grit defn

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wikipedia small






Grit in psychology is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s passion for a particular long-term goal or end state coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective 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. Commonly associated concepts within the field of psychology include “perseverance,””hardiness,” “resilience,” “ambition,” “need for achievement” and conscientiousness.


..the ideals of persistence and tenacity have been understood as a virtue at least since Aristotle. Although the last decade has seen a noticeable increase in research focused on *achievement-oriented traits, there continues to be difficulty in aligning specific traits and outcomes.

[*grit disclaimer bottom of page]

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grit page from book

— grit is what happens when you unleash/facilitate whimsy..


Seth on Icarus via this interview:

Grit is, yes, that stuff in the spinach, that when you’re eating it gets stuck in your teeth. It is the stuff in carborundum grinding wheels that grinds down the things that are opposed to it.

What we see in successful people is this sort of generous persistence, when we are faced with the initial no, or the third no, or the fifth thing that doesn’t work, people with grit figure out a different way to move forward—not an obnoxious way to move forward but a way to move forward that demonstrates commitment and tenacity. Over and over again, when we hear the stories of the Richard Bransons, the Oprah Winfreys and the less famous people, it’s almost entirely stories of grit.

One of the reasons that lottery winners end up having such miserable lives after they win the lottery is that coming into a whole bunch of money doesn’t give you grit. The money goes away pretty fast because you don’t know what to do when it doesn’t work out the way you hope it will work out.

Grit is a choice. It’s an attitude. It’s not something you’re born with, nor is it something that is given to you. That really excites me because it means that, unlike the Revolution of 1910 or 1880, where it mattered who your father was, it doesn’t matter who you know. It doesn’t matter where you were born if you at least were in a semi-privileged environment. What matters is that you choose to put yourself into this world as a creator, an actor, an artist, a leader. That’s just a choice.


why grit vertical

whimsy as mind wandering..

mind wandering

Daily life often demands that we choose one information stream or the other. For instance, in a decontextualized educational context, or in a cognitive psychology experiment, the ability to concentrate on a task requires silencing the inner chatter. Vice versa, when we would like to dip into our inner stream of consciousness, we must block out our external percepts (Dehaene and Changeux, 2005; Smallwood et al., 2011b; Kam et al., 2013).

However, as Kam et al. (2013) point out, when the executive attention network works in concert with the default mode network to sustain an inner train of thought, selective attention processes are not absent – they just are turned inward to select the most relevant associations and ideas that emerge from episodic memory. This has important implications, because traditional views of selective attention erroneously assume that the main function of the executive attention network is to select relevant stimuli from the external environment for deliberate, conscious processing.

However, these traditional models miss a key feature of human cognition: when working in cooperation with the default mode network, the executive attention network is equally equipped to select relevant episodic associations that can help keep an inner stream of thought both positive and constructive.

perhaps where we get true.. grit..




*disclaimer on grit…

not this grit..

[in article, they reference grit as a no excuses mentality; ie: kipp, angela duckworth ness, toughness for things you don’t choose]

not grit

[we’re meaning the grit that comes from (paradoxically) the luxury of slack – finding the thing you can’t not do – out of love. ie: enduring grit comes from intrinsically deep desire(s)/passion(s), not from resisting/conforming/obliging to extrinsics]

this grit..

true grit by amy



this is part why we started a glossary of sorts (slidedeck at bottom of grokking page).. which led to this site and why we love hypertext. it’s why George says what he says about communication. and why Chimamanda says what she says about a single story (definition.)

like the words detox and commons – which many suggested we not use – some suggest we not use grit.

well then.. we could be like Saxon, who’s known for writing math word problems that made no practical sense, made up of made-up words.. to help you filter out the words.. it was the algorithm only.

and/or we could code/redefine and/or make-up our own words.. which we do.. but that would never end.

and/or maybe.. we just be like George and Chimamanda.. and listen/seek/see more by asking..

ie: what do you mean by that..

[assuming good has the potential for saving time/energy as well.. no?]