It’s How You Get Up
Increasingly we are proving that the way we react to adversity can frame outcomes. Act negatively to a failure and you can end up stuck.
“It’s not necessarily how you fall, it’s how you get up.”
– Lewis Hamilton, F1 Driver
People have been expressing this in different ways for years, from the Japanese saying “Nana-Korobi, Ya-Oki” or “Fall seven times, get up eight” to Vince Lombardi’s “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” And even the writers of Rocky IV (1985) gave their take as Rocky Balboa, says, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place. It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much can you take and keep moving forward.”
MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner Angela Duckworth coined the term “grit” for this ability to persist through adversity. Essentially, the ability to get up. As observed by NPR’s Tovia Smith, “Duckworth says her research shows grit is actually a better predictor of success than IQ or other measures when it comes to achievements as varied as graduating from West Point or winning the National Spelling Bee.”
Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford, uses the term “growth mindset” for the belief that success comes from effort. As opposed to a “fixed mindset” where there is a feeling that things like talent are “fixed” so you’ve only got what you’ve got.
I saw Professor Dweck speak at Stanford’s “Thinking Big About Learning” Symposium and she is bringing this theory to the global stage, by working in the Middle East with Jewish Israelis and Palestinians to teach them that groups aren’t “fixed”, rather that they have the capability to grow. And incredibly she told us that when they learned this, they wanted to learn more about each other and they were willing to entertain compromise. We can only hope she sees continued success in her endeavors.
Dedicated to the citizens of Beirut and Paris who are showing us all how to get up.