I have been a Lovecat for many years and the best part is getting to interact with fellow Lovecats (in case you didn’t see the story on the origin of RAWR from lovecat see it here RAWR origin. A Lovecat is an energy giver, not an energy sucker). A fellow Lovecat was kind enough to share a link to an interview with me. Things like this are always great because the resource has already been vetted as something worthwhile, all I need to do is set some time to check it out.
The link was an interview with Dr. Angela Duckworth, who has been blossoming in the field of positive psychology, most notably within the area of what she has termed Grit. Dr. Duckworth has given a TED talk on grit as well. Getting back to the interview, there are a few takeaways I wanted to touch on.
The amount of connecting Dr. Duckworth does throughout the talk is something I enjoyed. When I was younger and in grad school, I remember meeting with Dr. Wade Gilbert and discussing with him his ability to connect so many different concepts and life events. It seemed no matter what we were talking about, he would be able to make these connections that I was simply unable to do. While I told him I tried to do so, but often fell short of his ability, he said that it would improve over time. Most notably he had been exposed to more things than me. An analogy he used was photos in an album. If there are more photos, there is a greater chance some part of one has a greater chance of connecting with part of another. He said as I read, talked, learned and lived more, I’d increase the amount of “photos” I would have and would be able to connect them.
As I listened to the interview, Dr. Duckworth discussed connections to Dr. Carol Dweck’s work on growth mindset, Dr. Martin Seligman and positive psychology, and Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s work on flow (there are books written by all 3 on our Epic Reading List if you haven’t checked that out yet). It was inspiring to hear her talk so effortlessly about these areas and how they related to the work she was conducting. I was also pumped up to know of these resources, and could easily follow those connections and have some of my own. I bring this up because it makes me happy to see the growth I have experienced and perhaps it could help you too. Perhaps this is good case in awareness for you in your ability to make connections, or an encouraging tale of how you will be able to do more so in the future.
Regarding the content of the interview, the biggest takeaway that personally resonated with me is that you cannot be full of grit in every endeavor that you have. By the very nature of grit, you would have to dedicate more time and effort to the topic in focus which means that same time and effort is not available for other tasks. While this makes sense, it is something I am not aware of at times. I wish to be fully committed to work, to my endeavors such as RAWR and my personal learning, my physical training, my nutrition, and of course friends and family. I will sometimes get frustrated with myself for my lack of discipline or focus in one area. It is not pleasant to experience, yet now I realize the reason for that occurring is because I AM focused and disciplined just in a different avenue of my life. People often talk about having balance. I think it is more so identifying your key area of importance for the next x amount of time whether it’s weeks, months, or years. Focus on that with the attention that is warranted but as you are engaged in other tasks, strive to be fully in the moment doing that task.
Those are the thoughts I’d like to leave you with. I know I did not describe or summarize the interview, but you can check it out for yourself and make some more personal connections. Here is the link Angela Duckworth Interview, The Power of Perseverance
I’d like to leave you with the following reflection topics:
What area or task do you want to be fully engaged in and for how long?
When will you know that time is up?
How will you still be effective in other areas even though you cannot offer maximum grit?
What strategies will you implement to ensure you are truly in the moment, regardless of the task you are doing?