How can I ever be successful?

How can I ever be successful? That's a question everyone must ponder now and then. It is certainly a question that we get here on a regular basis. Last Friday, we put a 6 minute video up on our Facebook page where a psychologist (Angela Lee Duckworth) talked about her research into “success.” She had been a consultant and then became a teacher (I think she was a 7th grade teacher but I could be wrong). Maybe all teachers become fascinated with who succeeds and who does not but she then went back to school and became a psychologist and began studying success.

In her research, she worked with students at the West Point Military Academy, students at the national spelling bee, teachers, salespeople, and students who were at risk of dropping out of school. She looked carefully in each case at the characteristics of the people who eventually proved to be successful. Her findings were that success was not based on IQ. It was not based on good health or good looks.

Well, then, according to her, what is the success based on? I found the answer to that question especially interesting since I am trying to encourage thousands of people (YOU) to be successful on the CPA Exam – an exam where half the people pass and half the people fail.

According to this expert, the one characteristic that is a real predictor of success is “grit.” The more “grit” you have the more likely it is that you will eventually become successful at what you attempt.

The next question is certainly obvious: How did she define “grit?” What exactly is “grit?” You can watch the video for yourself but there were several things that jumped out at me. I don’t know if I would call any of these “grit” but I would say that they are each a strong predictor of success. Are these the terms that you would use in describing your own battle with the CPAExam?

--A person with grit has the passion and perseverance necessary to accomplish long-term goals.

--A person with grit has stamina.

--A person with grit is able to stick with his or her plans for the future—day in and day out, not just fora week, not just for a month but for whatever time it takes.

--A person with grit works really hard to make those future plans into a reality.

--A person with grit lives life like a marathon and not a sprint.

--A person with grit does not believe failure is a permanent condition.

--A person with grit believes that people can improve with effort. We are not destined to fail; we can improve through work.

It was only a six-minute video but she packed in a wealth of ideas to ponder.

Want to be successful? Of course you do – we all want to be successful. We all want to make our dreams come true. We all want to attain the victory.

The real question is whether we have the grit necessary to make it happen. Start focusing a little more on your persistence and your stamina for making progress over long periods of time. Passing the CPA Exam is not sprint. It truly is a marathon.


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