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Grit is the stuff of life. Greatness is often achieved only after repeated failure.
Cartoonist Charles Schulz had every cartoon he submitted to his high school yearbook rejected. "Peanuts" later became one of the most successful cartoons of all time.
Thomas Edison's teachers told his mom he was "too stupid to learn." Edison went on to accumulate 1,000 U.S. patents. His success with the light bulb followed 1,000 unsuccessful attempts. That's grit.
It's great that we live in a wealthy country -- one with a welfare state so big that we now worry about poor people getting fat. But what makes most people happy is not comfort. It's earned success, success you struggle for.
The opposite of earned success, says psychologist Martin Seligman, is "learned helplessness." In lab experiments, when good things occurred that weren't earned, like nickels coming out of slot machines, it did not increase people's happiness. It produced helplessness. People gave up, became passive.
That passivity (and America's welfare state) is a threat to our future. Everyone goes through pain and loss. We face obstacles. It's the struggle to overcome obstacles that matters.
That's the stuff of life -- and the route to happiness and prosperity.