Jonah Lehrer, in his article “The Truth About Grit,” discusses just what exactly is the recipe for success. He describes that beyond talent we are born with, beyond even intelligence, a certain perseverance is required, which he and other psychologists of a new wave in research call “grit.” This refers to setting a long-term goal and sticking to it, despite obstacles and struggles that arise. Grit also entails a bit that seems almost counter-intuitive; rather than trying to invest in diverse interests in order to be the well-rounded genius we idolize these days, grit promotes being more narrow in one’s passions – picking one thing and sticking to it for the long haul. Lehrer explains how the study of grit and how to encourage it would be of much interest to the military as well as in academic settings. If we could get kids to realize early that working really hard at something is going to work better for them than relying on their natural abilities and therefore feeling limited, maybe we would have a more successful, more gritty generation.
Having read another article of Lehrer, “The Eureka Hunt,” I actually noticed some similarities between the two. First of all, it totally caught my attention when on page 53, he mentions reducing “the scientific process to a sudden epiphany,” which is pretty much exactly what he investigated in “The Eureka Hunt.” Also, I took note of how, just as in the other article he had began with an anecdote about the moment of insight experienced by Wag Dodge, this article began with a story about Newton discovering gravity; he begins this story talking about how it likewise appears to be a result of insight, however it is actually a result of grit – the endless toiling away at a hunch. I actually found this article to be a lot less “meaty” than his other article; it was shorter, and while it could have still packed in all the evidence and organizational skills to make a strong article, I found it lacking at first glance. Though maybe after some close reading I would feel differently.