Angela Duckworth

Success is a process – what will you do next?

Success is an elusive goal that’s fleeting and requires constant focus and effort.  Have we ever really “made it?”  By accomplishing the goals you set for yourself, you were successful.  But notice the word “were.” Success is a process of achievement that we must strive for on every effort.

In the book Grit – The Power of Passion of Perseverance Angela Duckworth discusses her research and findings on the psychology of human accomplishment.  In the formula below, Duckworth points out that while “talent” is important, “effort” appears twice in the equation. 

Talent + Effort = Skill.  Skill + Effort = Accomplishment.” – Angela Duckworth 

The process of success is made of three steps:  Do what you can – Learn more – Do the next thing. 

Do what you can.  Why aren’t we willing to do something if we can’t do everything?  It’s as if we believe that nothing worthwhile can come from what we offer unless we can’t offer the best there is.  Part of that is true but with a qualifier.  There is great value in what can offer, if it is the best we can do at the moment.

Don’t compare your best with that of anyone else, use your talent and skill to do the best you can right where you are. Recognizing when we do that, we will continue to improve and out best will get better. 

“Leave your ego at the door every morning, and just do some truly great work. Few things will make you feel better than a job brilliantly done.” – Robin S. Sharma

Learn more.  With every action, there is an opportunity to learn and improve in preparation for the next action.  No matter the result, whether it worked just as planned or not, take away something that you will do better the next time.

Invest in your growth: read a book, listen to a podcast, ask questions, practice, and keep a look out for ideas you can use.

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin

Do the next thing.   Now that you have done your best and learned some more, it’s time to do your new best.  Strive to apply all that your talent, skill, and effort has brought to this effort, and the next, and the next… 

“One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.” – Marie Curie

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