Sure, you’re not gonna be too hot at what you do (at work, or just in life, really) if you don’t have passion. And it never hurts to be confident, be a good problem solver, be a good team player – you know, the usual. But when it comes to the absolute most important quality that plays into success, the answer, at least according to psychologist and Harvard grad Angela Lee Duckworth, is not what you’d expect. The big secret, Duckworth says, isn’t necessarily a love for what you do or any of the above. In fact, it’s grit.
What that basically means is that, more than even talent and intelligence, the drive to succeed by working hard and persevering over an extended period of time are the key factors to excelling in any area of life. Granted, Duckworth defines success as best achieved when these factors are paired with things like passion, but the real key is the determination to excel and achieve goals in the long-term. It’s good news, too, since the theory would mean that anybody could excel at just about anything, so long as they commit and approach it with a little bit of grit.
For more on Duckworth’s theory, you can check out her bestseller, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.