Need A Mid-Semester Lift? Watch This Ted Talk

It was a Monday and I had 4 meetings, a paper, and no energy. Wallowing in the few minutes of alone time I knew I’d have the entire day, I scrolled, aimlessly, through social media until I wondered upon a Ted Talk from Angela Lee Duckworth that held a much-needed, 5-minute reminder about one seemingly powerful, jump-out-at-you kind of message.


Now, if you’ve never heard of such a concept, let me break it down for you. Grit is having passion and perseverance for long-term goals. It’s about never giving up. It’s about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, even when it is nothing but dark right now. Grit is more than just having a right-now mindset, it’s looking out into the future with bright, big, eyes and saying, yes, I can and I will do that. It’s about working hard and making your dream a reality.

I’d been worn down, stressed, and confused. But, this minute decision completely transformed my currently muddled perspective. Though I’d watched this Ted Talk before, this time, the words were exactly what I needed to hear.

In the midst of our schedules, deadlines, and commitments, it’s easy to feel defeated. It’s easy to lose sight of the long-term goals we have. Becoming a doctor. Getting into grad school. Opening a bakery. Angela Lee Duckworth reminds us that in order to build grit, first, we need to build a growth mindset.

Having a growth mindset means that, in the midst of our piled up papers and lack of sleep, we will remember that what makes us stronger is not our ability to succeed but, rather, our effort. It is our effort that will make us a better doctor. A better student. A better baker.

So, if you’re in need of a mid-semester reminder, watch this Ted Talk. Maybe you’ll get the dose of inspiration you need. Maybe you’ll gain a new perspective. Whatever it may be, I hope you take from it exactly what I did: grit.

Watch it here:


Shelby Nierman

Editorial Contributor, Purdue University Major: Developmental and Family Science / English Her heart belongs to: family and friends, Indiana sunsets, black booties, the county fair, and going on random adventures Take her away to: small towns, quaint London, ineffable views, and wide open spaces

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