Rule 15: Do be gritty!

If you google “grit” you will see that other than referring to loose particles of sand or stone, it can also refer to one’s  “courage and resolve; strength of character”. I recently came across a Ted Talk by Angela Lee Duckworth:

By the way, if I haven’t said so already, I should really make it known that I LOVE Ted talks! Ideas worth spreading really ought to be spread. Just a side note. 


I won’t try to summarise the content of Angela’s talk here, as I doubt I’ll be able to do it justice; it’s only 6:12 minutes, go and watch it. What I gathered to be the main point of her talk though is that grit is a key indicator of success. Now, I’m no where near the adjective “successful” but I have noticed the power of grit recently.

A couple of days ago I went through a bit of a panic. Ok, it was more than a bit. I really fucking panicked because it occurred to me that I had less than a month to prepare for 6 assessments, the results of which would affect my currently held conditional job offer. Basically, if I don’t do well in these assessments my future employer will retract their job offer and I will graduate the LPC in debt and in want of a job. If you know someone who has either completely the LPC or is currently on the course, you may have heard that the substance of it really isn’t all that challenging. And so you may be wondering why is she so panicking? Well, I have a confession to make – I’ve been a little complacent on this course. Actually, it’s not even complacency. I have a serious problem with the way the course is taught (I’ll save that for another day!) and as a consequence I haven’t exactly been a hard-working student. In fact, if I’m honest I pretty much have less than a month to learn at least three subjects from scratch.

So after my panic, I did what any person does in that situation, make a revision timetable. Yes, I used a whole day’s worth of time to make a revision timetable that deep deep down, I knew I wouldn’t stick to. Nonetheless, the process made me feel productive, so I coloured it in, made it all pretty and stuck it on my wall.

It’s only day 3 since I did that, and I’ve already deviated from my timetabled slots more than once. BUT, today during one of my not-timetabled-for-rest slots, I decided to take a break and so I did, again what any procrastinator does, and went on Youtube. There, I was suggested another Ted talk, this time on the topic of Brexit. Now, one of my assessments involves writing a report and one of the issues I have to address is the effect of Brexit in a very specific context (I’m not sure I’m allowed to actually say what that context is…) but anyway, the point is there was a veryyyy tenuous link between my work and this video. So I decided that watching it wouldn’t reallyyyy be procrastination – it’s more like extra research.

So I went and watched this talk by Alexander Betts:

I found it really interesting! I felt that his observation, about the lack of understanding between the two camps, between those who supported Leave and those who supported Remain, really had hit the nail on the head. I agree that there was and still is an ignorance from those on the Remain side to the concerns of the public. Of the areas of the UK that voted Leave, I am ashamed to say that I have visited almost none of them.

Anyway, my point is that watching this video really made me think. So, once again, I did what any person would do after watching a great talk, I emailed the speaker. My email was a little lengthy and actually, now that I think about it, lacking any point, but to my surprise Professor Alex Betts replied – kindly!

Even though this in truth had nothing to do with my revision, this short correspondence made me remember why I need to persevere with the LPC. I’m doing the course to work towards a greater goal – to become a qualified solicitor. The LPC is not an option, it is a necessity if I want to get that qualification. And through qualifying I hope to grow as a person and an academic. And upon remembering this reality, I suddenly became invigorated to work once more.

You really do need to be gritty to get closer to your goals in life.



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