He concluded that the character trait that separates successful people from the rest is grit:
“Grit is not just about stubborn persistence. It’s also about choosing the right goal in the first place. … The unfortunate reality is that it’s not all going to happen. How can we make sure all our struggle and sacrifice will be worth it? Make sure it passes the underwear test.”
The underwear test has to do with psychological adaptation, and how we get used to things being a certain way. It explains why we get excited about new things, and then the excitement inevitably wears off. Lehrer says that the only ideas worth pursuing are those you’d be willing to invest 10,000 hours into.
Watch his full talk here:
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