The importance of grit and hard work

There has been a lot written on grit recently and the importance of working hard as being a key trait showing a person’s likelihood of success. Paul Tough’s book on How Children Succeed (http://www.paultough.com/the-books/how-children-succeed/) has gotten a lot of press where he discusses grit as a measurement of how determined and hard-working one is to achieve their goals. Some schools and centers of learning are thinking about curriculum to teach and instill such values to the younger generation as crucial to learning, development and future success. Developing this quality in families of wealth is especially important as opportunities to demonstrate fortitude are sometimes less available.

For example, in families of wealth, taking care of chores and needing to earn money are often not of necessity for the younger generation. Hired help cleans rooms, makes beds and puts away clothes with the intention of doing their job to be helpful and “keep a nice home”. The lesson that chores offer is the importance of responsibility and commitment to get a job done. If a youngster has the opportunity to earn extra money, rather than being given it, then working hard to earn something is the take-away.

Paid first jobs are sometimes passed up because a more interesting internship might be more in line with the young adult’s passion and income is not a survival need. Although an opportunity, what must be weighed against it is the reward or lesson that come from the fruits of one’s labor. Likewise, giving a cell phone to a youngster is now part of the culture, yet having to work/earn an iPhone is way to instill the value of working for something that you want.

It is important that the next generation not be inadvertently robbed of the opportunity to develop and demonstrate grit to her/himself and others. Hard work and perseverance are traits that are essential for success throughout life. In families of wealth it is often necessary to be intentional about creating situations for the next generation so they don’t miss out on the vital lessons hard work can teach.