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What is Grit?

Grit in psychology is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual's passion for a particular long-term goal or endstate, 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".

Grit can impact your future.

Scott Rigsby's Story

He was an 18 year old kid on a hot summer day just prior to his first college semester. Riding in the back of a pickup truck in rural Georgia with friends after a hard day of landscaping work. They were talking sports and plans for the weekend, when suddenly the truck is hit by a passing 18- wheeler, throwing him underneath a 3-ton attached trailer and dragging him 300 feet.


His back suffered third degree burns, his right leg was severed off and his left leg hung barely intact. His life was seemingly over, or so it seemed for Scott Rigsby.


Years later, he became a track runner and ran in the Boston Marathon.

Rebekah Gregory and Scott

Rebekah Gregory was a Boston Marathon runner during the Boston Marathon Bombing. After the Boston Marathon attack on April 15, 2013, doctors thought they could save Rebekah's left leg. One of the bombs shattered it from the knee down, destroying tissues, muscles and half her fibula in a matter of seconds. It ripped her right hand open also. Scott had Prosthetic legs put on and persevered. Rebekah is choosing to have her leg amputated, instead of having grit going through with the surgeries.

Grit can help someone learn better.

"One characteristic emerged as a significant predictor of success. And it wasn't social intelligence. It wasn't good looks, physical health, and it wasn't IQ. It was grit."

Angela Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, first popularized the concept in 2007; she believes that if we can teach children to be “grittier” in schools, we can help them achieve greater success. Paul Tough, a journalist who published a 2012 bestseller, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, also brought grit into the national spotlight. Many policymakers and school leaders have since jumped at the idea. So if children use grit towards their studies, they will get better grades and work harder.

9/11 Attacks

United Airlines Flight 93 was a domestic scheduled Passenger Flight that was hijacked by al-Queada on September 11, 2001, as part of the September 11 attacks. It crashed into a field near the Diamond T. Mine in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania near Indian Lake and Shanksville, during an attempt by some of the passengers using grit to regain control, and as an effect, killed all 44 people aboard including the four hijackers. No one on the ground was injured. The aircraft involved, a Boeing 757-222, was flying United Airlines' daily scheduled morning Domestic Flight from Newark International Airport in New Jersey to San Francisco International Airport in California.

The hijackers breached the aircraft's cockpit and overpowered the flight crew approximately 46 minutes after takeoff. Ziad Jarrah, a trained pilot, then took control of the aircraft and diverted it back toward the east coast of the United States in the direction of Washington D.C. Although the specific target is not known, it is believed that the hijackers were intending to crash the plane into either the White House or the Capitol Building.