Lance Scranton: Practicing 'grit'

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I’m especially sensitive to Seasonal Affective Disorder, which tends to happen around the middle of winter. The parts of the country that have been affected by the “Polar Vortex” aren’t so much depressed as trying to stay warm.

We have the staying warm thing figured out in Craig, but what we can’t always avoid are the midwinter blues.

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Lance Scranton

Which brings me to the point of this week’s column.

What intrigues me about our Western culture is our healthy (mostly) preoccupation with identifying and diagnosing the myriad problems, and solutions, that we have in our country and community.

If you have a spare seven minutes in your day, type the following into your Internet search bar: Angela Lee Duckworth, The key to success?

Grit.

Grit? Really?

Professor Duckworth’s conclusions should come as no surprise to any of us who have been on the planet longer than 25 years.

It appears that a student’s high school grades, when adjusted for the myriad of factors that also affect success, are the best predictor of college and future accomplishment.

Grit is the willingness to stick to a plan (stay in school, stay on the team), practice delayed gratification (practice skills now for winning later), make decisions in the present that will help in the future (listen the people who are trying to help you), and see present problems as challenges to overcome (losing and low grades don’t automatically mean you are a loser or stupid and vice versa).

What is difficult for parents is to help their kids practice grit.

We can be so hyperinvolved and hypercritical of what’s going on around us that we forget that it’s okay for our kids to struggle, even fail sometimes, or not always get what they want, and to realize that life tends to work best for those who work at making life work out — “stick-to-it-ness.”

Hopefully you are helping develop grit in the people you care most about and remember that spring is just around the corner.

It seems that grit just might help us out of the midwinter blues, too!

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