Friday, March 21, 2014

Fearless Five

Happy Friday and thanks for all the encouragement on my potentially crazy pants plans to run a 10-miler in a month. So far I've done a good job of sticking to the training schedule. Which isn't really that remarkable considering that there were only 3 miles on the menu today. 

In other news, I've been tuning the radio to NPR instead of the top 40 when I'm in the car. That only gives me about 10 minutes of news at a time, but as my housemate says, I definitely feel 10 minutes smarter every time I leave my car!

(Image Source)

One of the NPR programs I heard recently was, ironically enough, about the fact that intelligence is not the best predictor of academic performance. Many researchers think 'grit' is the key to success. According to NPR, "experts define grit as persistence, determination and resilience; it's that je ne sais quoi that drives one kid to practice trumpet or study Spanish for hours — or years — on end, while another quits after the first setback."

What interested me the most was the program's description of experimental efforts to increase students' grit. Most of this work focuses on making students believe that failures and mistakes are a normal part of learning instead of reasons to quit. Teachers give students space to struggle with questions before offering hints, for example, helping them "get comfortable with struggle so they see it as just a normal part of learning."

I've been facing a lot of challenges lately, in my new job, new city, and even with writing this blog. I've jumped at the opportunity to stretch myself with new goals, and made a commitment to make 2014 a year of growth. But tackling new challenges means facing the real possibility of failure, which is something I've always feared. That NPR program reminded me that if I want to succeed, I have to learn to embrace the possibility of failure.

So to help us all get a little more 'gritty', I'm joining Fitting It All In's Five Things Friday and the DC Trifecta's Five Things Friday link ups with five inspirational quotes on embracing failure and making mistakes.

Q: What's one thing you've done that's scared your pants off? How did you get the courage to try?


  1. Running my first marathon this Sunday is scaring my pants off but I can see the finish line now and that trumps any hesitation I might have!

    Good luck on your ten-miler!!!

    1. Thanks! Hope your first marathon went well! Props for taking on such a big goal :)

  2. Thoughtful blog thanks for sharing.