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Got Grit? Why Resilience is “THE” Essential 21st Century Skill

“More than education, more than experience, more than training, a person’s level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails.” D. Coutu, Harvard Business Review, 2002.

This is very true. It’s all about resilience. Resilience is the key to success in academics, in the professional world, and in life in general. You have to have the grit to get back up, every time someone, or something, knocks you down.

Because, it’s also true that you are going to fail. At some point in life, you are going to be the one that doesn’t make the team, or forgot to print an assignment that was due, or missed out on the promotion. It will happen and at that moment, you have that choice. To stay down. Where things are easy…or to get back up where it’s messy and hard. Get up, each and every time. Get up, and find a way.

That takes some courage. And I’m not saying that it’s always easy. But you just do it. You get back up. And each time, it gets a little easier. That’s what resilience is all about.

Simple ways to be resilient: Talk to your career counselors, tutorial center, mentors, friends, even parents, and find out strategies you can use this year when things get tough and sleeping in sounds so much better than going to class. Remember too, Michael Jordan’s words, “If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

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