Education Success Trait: You Have to Have Grit

“The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be outworked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things—you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple. . . .”

– Oscar-nominated actor and Grammy award-winning musician, Will Smith

If you haven’t seen this video clip on YouTube, you are missing a powerful explanation of what it takes to make it. Grit is the part of your work ethic that refuses to give up. Its only purpose is to keep pushing you to higher levels and toward the goal you desire.

You have to have grit when things don’t go your way. The life of the successful isn’t created overnight like the life of a millionaire lottery winner is. You have to deal with the chance of losing it all in order to clear the way for something new to grow. All I know, through seeing with my own eyes, is that success comes to those who are too stubborn to realize when life is trying to keep them down, and they just keep getting up. They are the ones who find a way when someone says there is no way.

Many times, things won’t go your way because of something you did. You made a mistake and now you have to pay for it. I know no one likes paying for their mistakes because it is easier to blame someone else for the shortcomings of who we are. On the road to success, there is only you. You can’t control everything, but you can control if you are going to be responsible or not. Many people aren’t able to achieve success because they refuse to be responsible for what it takes to get there. I am fully aware of these mistakes as a coach. There were many years when the teams I coached enjoyed success, and then there were those two years when nothing I did worked, and I had to understand the players just didn’t want it bad enough. I get that everyone wants to win, but there is a price to pay. If you aren’t willing to pay that price, then you aren’t willing to win. At the end of my successful seasons, I could actually say we were beaten by the better team. Those other years, I wasn’t able to say that. My players just weren’t responsible enough for success.

You are 100% responsible for your actions, even when things don’t go your way. This reminds me of a classroom situation where the failing kid would say, “You must not like us since everyone is failing this class.” I would say, “First of all, not everyone is failing, and what does me liking you have to do with having the right answer on the test, or turning in your homework?” There are more options now for success than ever before, so why then do we not see a skyrocket in success? Success takes grit when the good turns bad and you have to keep pushing forward. As you move down the road to your successes, there will be plenty of people with plenty of reasons not to like you, but what does that have to do with your success? You may use is as a crutch to help explain your shortcomings, but honestly, are they really stopping you from having success?

The above information is from the book Work Ethic: The Right Actions to Create a Successful Lifestyle by Pierce Brunson

It isn’t what you say, it’s what you do that will create the life you want. The high school years are a great time for students to build valuable and rewarding action characteristics to increase self-esteem and deliver results. While enjoying these years, students should be developing the right mindset to achieve the success they desire in the future. In order for success to happen, for students to have that lifestyle they often speak of wanting, they must become adults with a solid, results-based work ethic. Wasting these four years can’t be a part of the plan. By using their time in high school to build the right actions for a successful lifestyle, students can ensure themselves a bright future, no matter the obstacles they will encounter. Work Ethic is for the high school student expecting to live life successfully, and is willing to do the right growth actions to shape a lifestyle of fulfillment, fun, and results.

Pierce Brunson , M.Ed., is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, and spends his time working as a mentor and speaker while developing businesses that help improve the high school experience for students and teachers. He has over a decade of experience teaching in the public school system as a high school Social Studies teacher, majoring in World History and Sociology. Pierce believes everyone can do more to help improve the education system in their local communities, which is part of the backbone of any society. Pierce’s advice is simple: stop complaining and do something to help improve the situation. Good people have to stop being afraid to fight for what they believe in. Get in the game, help others, share culture and move the world toward equality and justice. Connect with Pierce at,, and

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