In every aspect of life, including faith, family, career, and education, there are those of us who embrace the challenge rather than those who fear the challenge or possibly delay or avoid the challenge altogether. Concordia University Wisconsin inspires students to “Live Uncommon,” which includes how one faces adversity.

It is an understatement to say these are unprecedented times. The spread of COVID-19 has shut down many aspects of our world. Much of life has been delayed, modified, or even eliminated; however, each of us is learning to adjust and respond, some better than others.

Distinguished psychologist and bestselling author Angela Duckworth suggests that amid any adversity each of us can develop a learned behavior and mindset called “grit.” In her 2016 book entitled Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Duckworth reveals “grit” to be a common factor in the high achievers she studied ranging from elementary students to older adults. Grit has nothing to do with intelligence. It is a unique combination of two developable virtues – passion and perseverance.

Understanding passion

Passion is the ability to work toward distant objectives. It is the tendency to not abandon tasks merely for changeability. Those with the goal of finishing a degree, building upon a degree, or even starting a degree after being out of the classroom must stay the course and display a passion in their journey, stimulated by personal motivations to better themselves, provide for their families, and improve the world around them.

Understanding perseverance

Perseverance is the quiet determination to stick to a course once decided upon and not abandoning it just because it is difficult. Busy schedules, work obligations, and the stress of life often make academic pursuits difficult. However, those with “grit” are determined to stay the course. In a world filled with obstacles and distractions of all kinds, a persevering spirit improves the likelihood of success.

The mindset of grit

Continuing students of any program should look for these signs drawn from Duckworth’s explanation of “grit”:

  • Gritty students think about the big picture. . . not just the immediate task.
  • Gritty students know the “why” behind all that they do.
  • Gritty students are stubborn, not unintelligent.
  • Gritty students work hard with focus and purpose.
  • Gritty students view setbacks as opportunities to learn.
  • Gritty students avoid distractions.
  • Gritty students are never ashamed when facing adversity. They look for ways to improve.

When evaluating academic progress, continuing students must consider the “grit” factor in their journey to successfully complete programs that will ultimately lead to enhancing careers and impacting the future of families. Concordia University Wisconsin is committed to helping students develop the essential amount of “grit” to excel in the face of all types of adversity.

Click Adult Accelerated Admissions to chat with an admissions counselor associated with any of Concordia’s nine campus centers offering evening classes or click Online Admissions to learn more about and connect with counselors for Concordia’s online opportunities. Our counselors and student success advisors will help students find “grit” in our mission to “Meet learners where they are and help people make their unique contributions to the world by providing high-impact, flexible, accessible, Christ-centered learning experiences.”

For more information on specific center locations, please visit our Centers webpage.

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