Great article in the New York Times on April 9, 2010 - Talent and Grit and Circumstance
This resonated with me...
"all those things that unlock talent, including grit, self-discipline and confidence.” quote from Angela Duckworth, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Grit is what Professor Duckworth calls perseverance or, as she defines it, “the capacity to sustain effort toward a very long-term and challenging goal.” Her studies have shown that grittier individuals thrive in extremely challenging situations, and that grit is quite distinct from talent.
Shortly after reading the Times article, while producing the Spring 2010 Collection, I listened to Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell - an interesting book. Gladwell writes about outliers - why some people succeed - he suggests: talent plus circumstance, sometimes luck, and other advantages of place and time, plus determination and perseverance and practice, practice, practice.
That's why I work so hard...nothing just happens...so my hours in the studio year after year are producing good results. It is hard, often back breaking work, but the work gives me such pleasure. I like the results. I like growing this business from the ground up. Each piece is hand-made, starting with raw materials.
Working for yourself is exciting and lonely, rewarding yet challenging, with flexible but long hours, but I still do it. I wear all the hats of the business. It is difficult to do it all. I keep saying I will slow down, but each year I grow the business a little bigger. Sometimes as I work in the studio, aka the garage, I get down in the dumps looking around wishing the studio were brighter and warmer. I would love to spend some of my profit on fixing up the studio - but not yet...I have my priorities, so I listen to books on tape while I work and build a tower of color around me and keep that mini heater on HIGH. Sometimes I blast music and belt out the words at the top of my lungs from songs like the Black Eyed Peas "Tonight's gonna be a good night...."
Why I am writing all this, because the article on grit and perseverance and persistence struck a nerve. So just go for it ... keep going... don't give up... and remember this quote from Calvin Coolidge - 30th President of the USA - a Vermonter born on July 4, 1872. We passed his homestead every summer when we took miss is to camp -
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
and then blast tonight is gonna be a good night and dance around the room with a big smile - drive in your car with the song blasting and honk the horn... and smile...