Hard Work

Smart is as smart does

Thinking is hard work. At least for most of us. I was thumbing through back issues of Scientific American Mind the other day, when I came upon an article on the differences between gifted people and the rest of us.  Essentially, gifted brains are more efficient, at least most of the time, than the average brain.

What interested me most was the caveat at the end of the article. Martin Seligman and Angela Duckworth have shown that scholarly success is twice as dependent upon discipline (call it hard work), as it is on intelligence. In fact, IQ did not predict whether a student would improve their grades, while discipline did. 

This is not to say that raw talent, or intelligence isn’t an important factor. But in there are other ingredients in the recipe for success: motivation, discipline, resilience, the ability to work well with others.  Luck may also play a part. What I do know is that hard work, while not guaranteeing success, will certainly increase its likelihood.

This is good news for those of us who are average.  We can be the turtle, rather than the hare, and still be successful academically. All it takes is some hard work, the ability to bounce back, some discipline, and a little motivation to keep at it when it gets hard.

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