Grit is the secret ingredient for an exceptional third act.
Arianne Coon writes in Bloomberg Businessweek on the topic of grit, perseverance, and determination as we age.
Psychologists have long known that success is fueled by grit, passion, and a growth mindset—a deep-seated conviction that you can excel at a new pursuit. Norwegian psychologist Hermundur Sigmundsson says that passion is by far the most important psychological factor—but it peaks early, which you may have seen in kids’ obsessions: the Dinosaur Phase. The Truck Phase. The Minecraft Phase. To a lesser extent, the same is true of the growth mindset, so by the time most of us reach the Build a Company Phase, two of the three most important ingredients in the recipe for achievement are waning. “You lose the thinking that maybe you can do this,” Sigmundsson says.
How to Stoke the Fire
1. Make It Meaningful
Once you pass the half-century mark, avoid work you don’t find compelling.
2. Move Your Body
“Physical activity is very important to keep the gray and white matter in your brain more functional,”
3. Fight Weakness
Help nurture your weakest trait by surrounding yourself with people and deadlines that bolster it.
4. Beyond Work
Bonus points for learning completely new skills, which can improve cognitive function.
ILLUSTRATION: MICHELLE KWON FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK