3 Ways to Be Successful at Long-Term GoalsNone By Homaira Kabir
Success is the one thing we all value in others, and want for ourselves. Yet it's the very thing that evades the vast majority of us when it comes to many of the long-term goals we pursue.
Success in long-term goals requires a quality that professor Angela Duckworth at the University of Pennsylvania calls “grit.” She defines grit as deep passion and dogged persistence—both of which, sadly, seem harder and harder to come by, especially the longer the journey is.
There are reasons for this: Within each of us are paradoxical motivational drives—the emotional circuits that seek out short-term pleasures and the more conscious ones that are concerned with future goals. Resolving these opposing drives lies at the heart of long-term success.
However, this can be a struggle, given that we live in a day and age where our emotional circuits are being fed and fattened by industries that have none but their own interests at heart. We're incited to be angry and afraid, we're incented to pursue instant gratification, and we're distracted by notifications and funny cat videos until our own attention span has become shorter than that of a goldfish. No wonder grit is fast becoming an elusive virtue.
But there's a way we can build it without having to count on willpower alone. After all, willpower is a depleting resource that wanes over the course of the day, tires out with self-restraint, and needs constant refueling. We may need something a little more reliable so we don’t fall into the regular procrastination, self-criticism, blame, and excuses that are part of failed long-term goals.
This is where creating powerful habits comes in. We're creatures of habit, for the most part engaging in automatic behaviors that may or may not b