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Need Grit? Need to be Unstoppable? Check out how the Wright brothers did it

Due to a popular TED talk by Dr. Angela Duckworth as well as her best-selling book, Grit has captured the attention of the world as a main ingredient to the success formula. But what is grit? And more importantly, how can you develop grit in your life?

To best answer this question, let’s turn the page to another book, the Wright Brothers, written by historian David McCullough. This book is a time capsule of the 20th century beginning years when there was a world-wide race to invent the first man-operated airplane. While only bicycle makers at the time, the Wright brothers were determined to win this race and show the world that man could fly.

While some inventors were sponsored by their respective governments, the Wrights used their own profits from the bike store. More problematic was that the current aerodynamic research was useless so they needed to collect new data. The perfect laboratory was a desolate but windy point on the North Carolina coast, called Kitty Hawk. It took 3 days to get there by train and boat. They had to live in a tent and dig their own well for water. At times, the mosquitoes were so bad that they could not venture outside.

After 3 years of testing, Orville Wright flew their “Flyer” a total of 12 seconds in 1903, the first ever recorded engine-propelled flight. But there was little fanfare about their amazing accomplishment. Some press called them fabricators of this event. This did not deter the brothers. For the next 5 years, they tested and retested the Wright Flyer until it could be shown to be a reliable mode of transportation. In 1908, the Wright brothers demonstrated a plane that could stay airborne for more than one hour. Now, the world took notice. Orville and Wilbur had taught the world how to fly.
The Wright Brothers had amazing grit. It did not matter what obstacles lay in their way, who believed in them, or whether they were going to make money from their invention. As David McCullough describes their journey, the Wright Brothers had purpose in every step. Their amazing grit came from a purpose to discover that man could soar with the birds.

Need grit? Need greater commitment to your job? Do you want to feel unstoppable?
Fill your life with purpose and you will develop grit along with your soaring success.

Bio: Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a professor of human performance at APSU. He is the author of the Washington Post bestselling business book, “Full Throttle”. Dr. Gregg speaks to businesses about emotional toughness as well as mentors individuals on success principles. Email or visit

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About Gregg Steinberg

Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a performance psychology expert, best selling author, and inspirational keynote speaker on the various topics relating to individual and team performance. Google+ Profile Get in touch with Dr. Gregg

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