January 12, 2016

By Caroline Adams Miller – Advisory Board, Happify

On July 5th, 2015, television-watching history occurred when the United States women played against Japan in the World Cup final. The game was epic, featuring heroics from several U.S. players, most notably Carli Lloyd, who scored three goals. It was the most-watched soccer game ever in the history of the sport in the U.S., leading many young girls and boys to proclaim that they wanted to become as tough and successful as the women they’d watched battle against long odds to be crowned world champions.

Although the game immediately became sporting lore, what is less well-known are the twisting, difficult, long paths that several of the team’s stars took to even make that squad. Six of them shared the failures and embarrassments they had endured after being eliminated from youth squads and Olympic developmental programs in formative years. Lloyd, for example, remembers the sting of being cut from the U-21 national team, which was a “wake-up call” resulting in the cultivation of obsessive practice habits and mindset training that took her from good to elite.

The quality that these players embody is “grit”—which has been defined as “passion and perseverance in pursuit of long-term goals.”

Although these players all possessed high ambitions, discipline and even resilience, they all cited that their failures had been the crucial ingredient in pushing harder to develop grit, a rare but coveted quality that is unique to people who don’t just succeed in the short run—gritty people hang in there for years while trying to accomplish something that lights them up and gives them purpose.

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Caroline Adams Miller

Caroline Adams Miller, MAPP is a pioneer with her ground-breaking work in the areas of goal-setting/accomplishment, grit, happiness and success. Caroline is the author of eight books, including Positively CarolineMy Name is Caroline,  Creating Your Best Life and Getting Grit. Live Happy Magazine named Creating Your Best Life one of the top ten goal-setting books ever published and Getting Grit one of the ten books that will change your life in 2017.  Her new book, Big Goals, is anticipated for release in the fall of 2024.  Caroline has been featured in BBC World NewsThe New York TimesThe Washington Post, USA Today, U.S. News &World Report, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR and CNN.  She is a graduate of Harvard University and holds a Master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

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1 Response
  1. Grit…passion and perseverance in pursuit of long term goals…one has to work on this thru time and various obstacles…success can be achieved if this is an innate quality of the person.

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