Factors important to success in school/work domains: 1). Self-control—the capacity to regulate attention, emotion, & behavior in the presence of temptation; the ability to manage emotions being especially important; 2) Grit—the tenacious pursuit of a dominant super-ordinate goal despite setbacks; 3) Intelligence – a “very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly & learn from experience”; 4) Emotional Intelligence – another general ability that encompasses interpersonal competence, self-awareness & social awareness; 5) Conscientiousness – a super-ordinate personality trait that includes the facets of Competence, Order, Dutifulness. Achievement-striving, Self-discipline & Deliberation (the facets co-vary to a degree). All are moderate to strong predictors of success, grit being the weakest predictor (but a common quality of exceptional individuals). Then there’s temporal discounting - the tendency to devalue delayed/far-off rewards. Temporal discounting undermines persistence in the pursuit of difficult long-term goals. It's too bad that the period of life associated with temporal discounting - aka youth - is also the time of greatest potential for skill/expertise building, which, unfortunately, also requires self-control, grit, emotion management, and conscientiousness.
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