We all come across hurdles in life, both the big (death, job loss, sudden disability) and the little (arguments, phone breaking, bad grades). Interestingly though, the event itself doesn't dictate what happens next. Just because you have faced a huge setback does not mean you are destined for failure, nor does a seemingly trouble free life mean success. Similarly, being naturally gifted does not predict that you will become a great talent.
Angela Duckworth suggests it comes down to a quality called "grit". She argues that grit is the essential reason why despite the same talent some people succeed and some don't.
Look around you. Who are the leaders in your company? Who were the best students in your class? Which of your friends seems to keep rising against the odds? And what is it that sets them apart from others?
Chances are it isn't just a matter of genius, fitness, good looks or aptitude. IQ alone will not get you to the top of your class in medical school. Good looks will not make you the face of L'Oreal. Nor will social intelligence make you CEO or personal connections rich. It is more likely that those you see at the top have something else in common - passion and perseverance. They have their eye on a goal and stick with it regardless of what knocks them down. They put everything they have behind achieving that goal and they show stamina in its pursuit.
Duckworth likens this to living life as a marathon rather than a series of sprints. Instead of running at short term goals, or giving up when things get rough if you really want to succeed get clear on what you're aiming for, double down and go for it.
In other words, get some grit!
(Check out Angela Duckworth's Ted Talk).