Success is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration.
- Thomas Edison
This post is the result of an interesting realization of something that is rarely spoken about when it comes to kids and their future.
As a parent myself, I thought about the most useful skill or trait that I would like my children to develop. It is very easy to think of early success and a rich academic aptitude would qualify. But it is obvious that, while those could be good, they are not guaranteed indicators of success. So the question morphs a little bit to this – “What would help my children achieve success ?”
In the modern world, success is frequently measured by wealth. However, the brightest examples of what I would consider successful lives had nothing to do with acquisition of wealth but rather the number of lives that were illuminated by someone.
Regardless of the definition of success, it is a good endeavor to be in pursuit of it. It keeps everyone busy and focused. I remember the aforementioned quote that seemed to point to an answer. Success is primarily attributed to perspiration.
So, what makes us perspire i.e work hard ? It is surely the result of some inspiration mixed in with motivation and grit. People find inspiration and motivation all day; where do we find grit? Grit is hands down the least glamorous skill of all. But arguably that is the more important. Inspiration and motivation will be tested when confronted by failure. Grit is the important trait of all. It leads us through the darkest hours and the bleakest times, when nothing we do ever seems to work.
So, how and where do we learn and practice grit? The beauty of grit is that it is something that is almost impossible to preach. Grit can be practiced however and similar to changing a river’s course, it takes a lot of patience and effort to make it a habit.
This brings us to the final point, why am I talking about it in this blog post today? Well, a year of running Code Hero Academy has offered me an opportunity to see changes in our students; similar to a before/after weight loss exercise. The beauty of working with creative side of technology is that nothing works until the final little piece of the puzzle is in place and you cannot cheat your way around it.
There is no 99% working piece of code; you have get it through all the way.
I have been blessed to see our kids pushing through testing challenges with sheer grit and single minded doggedness. They resisted taking the easy way out and won over these obstacles. I have no doubt whatsoever that they will go on and change the world with their own definition of success.