I’ve returned in 2014 ready to complete the freehoodship augmented reality adventure. At some point I’ll have to update some of the outdated information on the website as well. My personal little store of grit has brought me back to first of all write this particular blog post, and second of all, to continue performing (authentic, heartfelt performances, mind you!) the missions — this Sunday I’m off to the Buddhist Temple/Church downtown as part of mission #23 [did not happen]. Personal little stores of grit like mine are now considered important enough for psychologists to study. One by the name of Angela Duckworth has even earned a TED Talk with her research into the importance of grit for success — grit here being one’s ability to stick with a task even in the face of challenges and set-backs. In her research, Duckworth has been able to develop a short test to determine a person’s level of grit, but so far she has no real insight into how people can develop grit.
Actually, she has real insight, but has yet no data to support it. Her insight is that the research on “growth mindset” of a fellow psychologist, Carol Dweck, may hold the key for people to develop grit. Her hunch is that if people can be taught to believe that they can in fact grow, change, improve, and develop through their own efforts and even against extraordinary odds — Dweck’s “growth mindset” in a nutshell — than they can develop grit. In other words, if you can move from being a victim in your story to being the hero of your story, and a hero who can create new stories like some freehoodship adventure, then you have a growth mindset and a personal little, but growing, store of grit. From the data of my own experience, I think Duckworth should trust her hunch.