4 Psychological Assets of Grit

Angela Duckworth’s book Grit is probably on many reading lists for educators during this summer break.  Grit – and many of the Social-Emotional Learning attributes we strive to cultivate in our students – is a major initiative in our school district.  Research is clear; the social-emotional strengths of our students are a greater indicator of success than simple academic measures of preparedness.


Duckworth highlights 4 Psychological Assets of Grit . . . I find these fascinating to consider in my own life, leadership attributes, and goal development.  Yes, I have modified them a little, but how do you fair in these attributes of your personal and professional life.


  • Interest ~ Do you enjoy what you do?
  • Practice ~ Do you have the daily discipline to do it better each day?
  • Purpose ~ Do you have the conviction that your work matters?
  • Hope ~ Do you know you will rise to the occasion? Can you overcome failures?


As you have time to reflect and prepare for the next school year, or even the next day, do you have the required assets to have GRIT in your work?  In your life?


As Duckworth shares, these are not “either you have it or you don’t” commodities.  You can learn and develop these assets with intentional behavior and known outcomes.  It is entirely up to you.

Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgement will be surer.

“Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgement will be surer.”  – Leonardo Da Vinci


Writing these “Life in Focus” posts is a blessing for me.  It seems that I find the right quotes, at the right time, to focus myself on what is important.  As Hilliard’s Superintendent I hope that my perceptions of where we are as an organization is in alignment with where our team, our family, feels we are at any given time.  Generally speaking I write 5-8 posts at a time . . . so I am usually about a week ahead.  I am asked, “Are you really up at 2:00 AM posting blogs?”  Of course the answer is “no.”  WordPress is easy to use – and easy to schedule posts.


During these summer months I will be taking a break from daily writing.  I am sure I will have moments of inspiration and reflection.  My goal is to “get ahead” so that come August 1st I will be ready “to roll” for the 2017-18 school year.


If you have any quotes or ideas for the upcoming year – any material you believe would inspire future Life In Focus posts – please send them my way.  Feel free to send them to john_marschhausen@hboe.org.


Have a great summer!  While we are working during the summer, it is a different pace and stress level.  My hope for you is to make time for relaxation so that when we come back in August we are focused, recharged, and ready to make a difference for the students we serve.