Getting Grit with Caroline Adams Miller, Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker and Educator

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Caroline is one of the world’s leading experts on the science behind successful goal setting and the use of ‘good grit’ to achieve hard things. For more than 30 years, she’s been sharing her research-backed, actionable strategies to help people cultivate more grit and dig deeper to clarify and achieve their toughest goals. Achieving hard goals is one of the most rewarding things we can do in both our personal and professional lives.

Caroline’s TEDx talk, “The Moments That Make Champions,” explores the three things that we can choose to do differently to improve our chances of developing authentic grit. Caroline has a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, and teaches at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School’s Executive Education program. Caroline is the author of six books, including Creating Your Best Life (Sterling 2009 and 2021) and Getting Grit (Sounds True 2017). Live Happy Magazine named Creating Your Best Life one of the top 10 goal setting books ever published and Getting Grit one of the 10 books that would change your life in 2017. She is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coach Federation. 

In this episode, Caroline and Cindra discuss:

  • What is authentic grit
  • 2 life-changing exercises to help you find your best possible future self
  • 3 types of grit we don’t want to cultivate
  • Strategies to build our grit
  • Why building your passion to fuel purpose is key to your success
“Authentic grit for me is a good kind of grit, it’s doing hard goals for the right reason in the best possible way you can do it.”@CarolineMCoach
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“The happiest people wake up every day to hard goals.”-@CarolineMCoach
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“There’s a harmony in your life that allows you to do your best with what you have when you can, versus it’s the sum total of who you are.”-@CarolineMCoach
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“Hard goals are not always realistic goals, it’s just that your hard is different from someone else’s hard.”-@CarolineMCoach
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“We have to have compassionate grit, which is doing hard things so that other people’s lives are better too.”@CarolineMCoach
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Full Transcription:

Cindra Kamphoff: Thank you so much, Caroline I am so excited to talk to you today on the high- performance mindset podcast so thank you so much for joining us here.

Caroline: Thank you, thank you for inviting me and having me.

Cindra Kamphoff: I read your books, a few years ago called getting grit and so I know you’ve been doing, other things, since then, but I’m just really looking forward to talking to you about this idea of grit mostly because we both written about it but also would just love to hear all the things that you have going on and how you might serve the audience so maybe to start us off and tell us what you’re passionate about?

Caroline: Oh gosh there’s so many things I’m passionate about, but right now, a lot of nine harmonious passion is going into finishing a quick book that flushes out the guidelines I’ve written many years ago, actually on mastermind groups for women, how women need to all be in them, I explain why the psychology behind it, but how to start join and participate in a successful mastermind group so right now that’s where a lot of my focus is going.

Cindra Kamphoff: wow excellent so tell us a bit about we’ll come back to the mastermind but I’m curious like what first got you studying this idea of grit and writing the book about getting grid?

Caroline: It really all starts with me, going back to school in 2005 I went back to pan in the first ever Master of Applied Positive Psychology and it was 33 of us from all over the world who got to stay with Marty Seligman and other really cool people in the field of psychology and motivation, but mostly the science of happiness and while there I realized that there were no goal setting books on the market, the mass market none whatsoever ever that had any research or footnotes in them, I realized, they were all full of snake oil and urban legends and there were no short night so my capstone project connected the science behind goal success and goal setting theory with the science of happiness and in the process of writing about the best kinds of goals meaningful goals purposeful goals evidence based goals I discovered that the happiest people wake up every day to really hard goals not easy goals and then as I’m writing about that I realized well if I’m going to put this book out here, I have to write about how do you accomplish our goals and Angela Duckworth was running in and out of our classrooms doing some for early work with Marty Seligman before it was even known and so I included a chapter about grit and creating your best life which just got reissued and I spent the next 10 years really studying and focusing on and coming up with a theory evidence based theory on how to actually cultivate quit because it matters so much, how do you cultivate it and that’s what I spent 10 years really refining.

Cindra Kamphoff: Awesome so from your perspective and from the research that you’ve examined how would you describe to us how do we cultivate our grit?

Caroline: Oh well, that’s a big question I’m just going to have to give you some highlights like nobody wants that. Grit Angela has a definition Angela Duckworth has a definition: passion

perseverance in pursuit of long term goals, and so I think it starts with that, but I actually broaden the definition to qualify, a lot of the men and women, I work with all over the world, mostly as an executive coach I speak to a lot of audiences and I realized that that definition didn’t hold for people like you and me and people who want to get more in life, so I brought it to be about not just passionate pursuit of hard goals but outside of your comfort zone that also all and inspire other people, because I think it’s really important that we talk about grit and that you take risks, so I went from there and I broke it broke it out into a number of chapters on the behaviors and the mindset and the environment that I saw around people who should my definition of authentic grit so that’s just kind of where I started.

Cindra Kamphoff: Great well that was gonna be my next question for us, I really like your chapter on authentic grit so maybe dive into like what that means to you?

Caroline: offended crit for me, is a good kind of grit it’s doing hard goals for the right reason in the best possible way, you can do it, which will involve undoubtedly, going out of your comfort zone taking risks and doing it for a very long period of time because grit presupposes being in it for a long time and so good grit is the kind of grit where other people watch you not trying to get a participation trophy or a bonus or pat on the head or to be recognized people who watch you doing things that are intrinsically motivating important to you, you know you’ll have regrets if you don’t pursue these calls, but doing it in such a way that you on inspire other people who then you know say to themselves, maybe outwardly or inwardly they saying wow What if I live like thought, what if I run that kind of passion to the world so there’s bad kinds of grit which I felt was important to talk about the good grid and inspires other people, but also allows you to pursue and achieve some of the most meaningful goals in your life.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah and you know what I find Caroline my work as an executive coach and speaker as well, I find that people really aren’t clear exactly what they want right like we use Angela Duckworth definition of passion and perseverance, for your very long term goals, I think people aren’t always very clear what is it that they want, what are your thoughts on that and for people who might be listening saying I don’t really exactly know what I want do you have any thoughts on maybe where they could start?

Caroline: Well, your coach you so you understand coaching is about isn’t about coaching people to do what you want them to do coaching is about excavating and on or thing what’s hidden inside of people that they really want until they coach could ask the right questions and I find that a lot of people do know what they want, they just never stopped and either asked themselves the right questions done any kind of thoughtful analysis of why they’re in the position they’re in what they’re afraid of, who’s around them, you know, and I think a lot of people are contaminated by negativity and pessimism from people around them, particularly women and so we know that women are dying in really untold historic numbers, right now, from diseases of despair at midlife and this is a crisis and it’s for women who haven’t redefined what their purposes, maybe they never felt it or found it before, but because they don’t feel purposeful they don’t feel their lives are meaningful and as a result they’re taking their lives are losing them to alcoholism and suicide and opioid addiction and eating disorders and depression

and all kinds of diseases of despair and so that’s a piece of what really matters to me right now is making sure the message gets out to people that when you identify your key guy the Japanese word for that which I wake up for maybe through the help of a coach maybe through a mastermind group that’s when really I think people begin to get hopeful and clarify what they’re doing on a day to day basis.

Cindra Kamphoff: yYah that’s so good, what do you think right now is happening with women, you know that maybe is leading to this, I think you know, for me, it might be societal pressure or just I’m also thinking about inequalities and how it can feel, just like you know you’re pushing your head above the above the ceiling, just like there’s always barriers in front of you, if sometimes it can feel like that you know, do you think it’s a matter what’s your thoughts.

Caroline: I have a lot of thoughts on that, and again I don’t want to keep you all day. I can I’ve spent a lot of years trying to figure out if I’m going to talk about this problem, particularly the problem of women shooting at other women, women undermining other women, I wanted to talk about it once I had some solutions, particularly evidence-based solutions.

Caroline: So that’s a piece of what I’m working on right now, and I can give you some of the reasons why I think women undermine other women and why that leads into black well not always lacked confidence, but I think women mostly don’t know who has their back know that phrase stabbed in the back, whatever backstabber, knife me in the back, I think a lot of women for cultural reasons, linguistic reasons and biological reasons don’t have other women’s backs and some of this is, we have this tendency friend oxytocin release in our bodies when other women are hurting and they don’t get what they want or they need solace and we know that women need other women because they tend and befriend them when they need help when they need you know care after child childbirth, etc, but what we don’t have is a hardwired believe in the chief response so some of this is cultural I think there’s an assumption that there are mean girls and we just assume this when we put shows on TV there’s even a show called me and girls there’s nothing analogous for boys, but there’s that you know there’s words like cat fighting that don’t have opposites for men, their dog fighting is actually a really positive thing there’s the Disney role, most people don’t know the Disney role is well known, within Disney which is if you’re drawing Princesses in the same frame for a picture, or you know, a movie or whatever you can’t draw two Princesses looking in the same direction in that picture, they have to look in opposite directions, because the clear messages and think of all the millions of little girls were primed not knowing what they’re seeing, but you can’t look in the same direction, because it means you’re in the same room and you can’t have that you can’t have two sparkly Princesses in the same room there’s also no word in the English language for being joyful in someone else’s when there’s Schadenfreude in German, which is taking pleasure in someone else’s misery, but I spent 15 years 15 years searching for the opposite because there’s scholarship showing that if a word doesn’t exist in the culture, the behavior does not evil and in 2019 when I was running with data Whitney The co-founder of oppression and creep in Melbourne Australia running a one day workshop called thriving women thriving world. I found myself in a small group of Israeli scholars talking about linguistics and I asked them if there was a word that they were aware of, and they said actually there’s an untranslatable word in Yiddish feel gun joy and someone else’s joy and that is so rare, and so I think there’s all

kinds of women don’t do this for each other, but I’ve got some strategies that I think will turn the tide and help us to see that differently.

Cindra Kamphoff: Excellent I appreciate those details Caroline and It made me think a lot about different variables that might be impacting women this way you know, and I think about right why women need to develop their great and what kind of kick tributes to that there was a passage in your book, I’m just going to read it, and you said what else contributes to building the grit muscle and you said what I believe we need to take a look at our quality of our relationships. The prevalence of positive emotions in our lives and or our storehouse of willpower among other elements and develop a well-rounded authentic grit tell us a bit about thinking about the positive emotions, what are your perspective on how those help us develop our grit?

Caroline: Well, so my fifth book creating your best life is where I really flesh this out my capstone a pen in that first year, the master’s program was my identification of some brand new research, which was that all success in life is preceded by being happy first What that means is nobody succeeds in anything in life, health, friendship work whatever unless they’re flourishing first, which means that it’s profoundly and professional to address the issue of goal accomplishment without first addressing the science of flourishing and what are the proven ways to up people’s well-being so when you take that then and follow the through line to grit, we know that the happiest people wake up every day to hard goals really hard goals outside of their comfort zone and so, if you’re going to achieve those hard goals, yes, you need self- regulation, you need to understand goal accomplishment you need passion, you need humility, but you also have to have flourishing, because that is at the absolute basis of whether or not people are able to accomplish their goals level of the hardest goals.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah I’m thinking about Barbara Frederickson work here about the three to one ratio rights kind of some of the things I’m thinking about when I’m hearing you talk about flourishing is there anything else specific that you’re thinking about is you’re going back to the research?

Caroline: Well, Barbara Frederickson broadens and build hypothesis or theory is important there’s also John Gottman research from the love lab at the University of Washington and there’s other kinds of research showing that even work teams that are over, not just over three to one but optimally at five to one five positives to one negative that can predict an upward spiral of well-being which then leads people to become more creative and more productive and more successful and so I think for women in particular we back out to women, one of the things that concerns me is that the research shows that women often, are in situations in relationships, where they’re below 321 which creates the downward spiral of well-being and why are they in relationships like this well 84% of women, say that they have frenemies in their lives friends who were enemies and why do they have those people in their lives, doing so much damage, whether they know it or not, because they don’t want anyone to think they’re not nice. And when I think about the toll that is taking on women’s hopes and dreams and behavior and their ability to not just have intentions but have the actions to go with their

intentions I agreed for my sisters, because I think we’re going through life trying to be nice without realizing how it’s really just the death blow for many of us to think bigger and act better.

Cindra Kamphoff: I think I’m just going to do a mic drop right there. Well yeah and I’m thinking about fear of rejection, you know, I think that some of the things that get in that’s what gets in my way of when I want to be nice and as I’ve thought about like my interest in being nice is feels really socialized right, then I should be nice, I think that is my human nature as well, but sometimes I think it does hold me back from getting bigger and bolder. So what advice would you give for women who are maybe agreeing with you and say, yes, you know that this this idea of being Nice is holding me back and I realized that?

Caroline: Well there’s nothing wrong with niceness, but I think there’s an over giving that women do in their kindness, which ends up, but you know, keeping them as doormats at times but beyond that I think all of us have heard of Adam grants book give and take and if you have that it’s a really good book, the problem is, it was written without the gender perspective because he talks about how, when you give and you give without. One of the things that happens is that when men get they get all the benefits of being givers when women give they do not get all the benefits that men get and, furthermore, and here’s the part that’s the real kicker if women are asked to be givers in the office doing you know emotional housework being givers to the PTA or whatever it is. If they say no, if they have a boundary if they say I’d love to but I can’t. They pay a very, very significant price they’re seen as not Nice, and what that means is that we lose the time that we need to have in order to nurture and pursue and achieve our deepest goals and so I’ll just go back to women dying from diseases of despair there’s a direct connection between giving away your time and not pursuing what you’re here on the earth to do and feeling like your life is meaningless and not wanting to fight any longer.

Cindra Kamphoff: Unanimously prioritizing yourself and you’re just giving giving giving making other people’s maybe and is important than your goals and what’s important to you.

Caroline: yeah yeah. In fact, I was asked to do something yesterday for organizations are very fond of and I’ve given my time over the years, but I looked at the Board of Directors and we just selected a new set of directors and it’s pretty much all women and they started asking other people to donate their time to make sure that we continue to roll along and I called the new President and I said how many of the people you’re calling for the male people who also are in this organization and she’s a doctor medical doctor and she said, you know never thought about it i’m only asking women, because women give but at what cost are we giving away our lives in order to be givers to everyone.

Cindra Kamphoff: So it makes me think a lot about good grit and authentic grit like you talk about and maybe the not so good grit in the book you talk about Fo grit stubborn here itself with grit and like types of it that aren’t serving us tell us about those and how might they be different than authentic grit?

Caroline: So as I flushed out my theory and I have to say you know Angela Duckworth is just a phenomenal friend of mine and a tremendous supporter and drop everything to make sure she endorsed my book, while hers was coming out which I have to say how often do you have a woman who has your back like that, when her own focus on her first book and, but one of the things she’s been very kind about noting that I think is important about getting grit is that not all grid is good, and if you only know the word grit you think well you know that’s great but it’s really not because when I work with people I’m not just doing research. What I realized is that there’s some really evil human beings who fit that basic definition of passion and perseverance in pursuit of long-term goals, think about conspiracy theorists, for example, they have passion, they pursue their goals, but to what end not necessarily positive. So I realized that there were three buckets of really negative grit that people needed to be aware of one of them, the book called the stubborn grip but it’s really stupid grit I call it stupid grip they thought it was rude and not nice if I use the word stupid for frankly stupid is what it is stupid, so people have stupid grit. You know it’s like mountain climbers who have summit fever they’re just climbing to the top they don’t care what the Sherpas say you know they don’t have the humility to listen to other people stupid grip cost you and other people, maybe even your lives and, and you just don’t listen, so the homework is a lack of humility and a lot of arrogance the second one is of grit people who want you to think that they’re gritty and that they do hard things like maybe even they’ve been special forces members but they make it up and they fake their accomplishments that the egregious example I list in the book for that is people who pretend to be medal of honor winners in the United States, our highest military honor and they’ll buy the metal on eBay and they’ll put on their resume I mean just people who aren’t willing to do the work over a long period of time to be that person they’ll take shortcuts and we have a lot of that happening in our culture, right now, people just take shortcuts because they just they want the when you know they want to be winners at all at all costs and the third kind is selfie grit These are people who do hard things but they tell you all the time and there’s that again that lack of humility and arrogance, but it’s kind of an unwillingness to let other people shine so so selfie grit and stupid grid are all negative forms of having that you know either desire to be a hard worker or somebody who does it in the wrong way.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah excellent I think sometimes, and I don’t know where this fits with your three, but my great can get in my own way, because I think I’m naturally gritty, but like if I’m pushed too hard, or involve myself in a project that I then you know, lose perspective on other things, maybe other deadlines or other projects or I’m working and then it’s like you know, sometimes friends relationships, you know I get out of balance, once in a while. So does that fit in any of your three types yes I’m just I’m kind of pointing that out, because I think that also can be not so great form of grit?

Caroline: Well, it depends on the harm that you’re doing to yourself, by being that that person who might block out other kinds of you know, entertainment. There was a wonderful book written by Edwin lock the Co-founder of goal setting theory called prime movers it’s an obscure book hard to get but one of the things he said is people who are creating great things either for themselves to the world at times they’re very out of balance and you have to acknowledge that not all things can happen at once, if you’re in the process of creation or childbirth, essentially,

so I think it’s the context and the harm that you’re doing to yourself or other people when you constantly deny meeting with friends being there for other people in their moment of joy, whatever it is.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah yeah that’s good that’s helpful Caroline that show that greatest connected to GPA and retention at universities things like that, and how more teachers, I think, are teaching about grit what are ways that you think we can teach grit to our kids or in the classroom?

Caroline: Well, so this is a loaded area that Angela Duckworth has gotten a lot of criticism for somehow implying that all children lack grit and need to learn grit when in fact they’re clearly children coming from difficult circumstances, difficult homes, where they already have grit just showing up at school is gritty what they need is hope they might need purpose they might need to build their self-efficacy, so I want to quickly say that that’s better debate that’s been out there and there, it has been addressed So how do you teach Britain, the classroom I am a big believer and I actually just gave a talk this summer in a to the international positive education network, about the fact that I think all children starting young. The teens and adults to should all learn the science of goal setting goal setting theory because simply having the ability to create your own environment and have control over what happens to yourself, by setting goals in the right way gives people a feeling of confidence, and when we have all this fake news stuff that’s been spread around and kind of promulgated by the ex-President, you know don’t believe what you see believe what I tell you the rising anxiety and depression just spiked because we found that our youth didn’t believe what they saw around them, they were told to distress their own senses and so I think goal setting is really important. We also know that Carol Dweck work on fixed and growth mindset is making a huge difference so Carol Dweck work on teaching children not that it’s all about the outcome but it’s about the effort really can make a difference, after particularly love for finding about using the word yet. Now I know you didn’t get it, but you haven’t understood it yet give it another try that word yet powerful.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah great I know a lot of teachers who implement those practices into the classroom I’m hopeful that will help the young children in our nation, despite all the things that are happening, one of the things I really like about your book Caroline is just the different exercises that you give us to help us think about our grid and one of the ones I want to highlight is the one called me at my best and I really loved reading about that and thinking about that tell us a bit about that exercise and how those people who are listening, right now, if it’s done past my might be able to use it exercise to think about themselves?

Caroline: yeah So if you if you’ve it all flirted with positive psychology you’ve heard this research and I’m not sure if I should attribute it to Lord King or Sonja Lyubomirsky they’re both massive luminaries in the field of positive psychology research, but it’s a simple exercise that a powerful one which is to take your top five strengths from the via character strengths survey, which all of my clients take the first assignment they get his take the VA character strengths survey which ranks your strength from one to 24 to three tests and nothing. I get no kickbacks from the via Institute, but it’s a phenomenal free test and all my clients, he is it, regardless of what they do

in the world, but then take those top five strengths and write an essay where you come up with times in your life personally professionally both a situation, a specific situation or period in your life when all five of those strengths are being used in a positive way, a proactive way and intermingling them brought out your best self, maybe even that self who Auden inspired other people, as you did gritty things but inevitably what you find is that a situation that’s the context, those are the people who elicit you at your best because the overuse of those same great strengths or weaknesses and you have to understand what is that little red line that you can cross over when you’re not in those ideal situations where something like is yes, can become just recklessness instead of just a positive jawed Aviv so it’s an important exercise everyone does it and you know what the other interesting thing is when you hear someone else’s me at my best story you never ever forget it ever.

Cindra Kamphoff: Nice so I’m thinking about if you’re on a team, maybe a business team or an athletic team or you can do this within your family where you do the exercise and they share it with each other, I could see how that could really build a lot of cohesion and just better understanding each other?

Caroline: A lot of readers that I work with have been you know doing these endless zoom meetings and there they’ve often broken it up to ask people to share that side of themselves, I mean they see kids running through the back of their room or one guy in a company I coach and showed up one day with a mohawk because his kids would bust his hair and so the vulnerability that you’re seeing online can be kind of further amplified in a positive way to hear me at my best story something you’ve never heard about this person, you see every day, but in a new way and in a positive way.

Cindra Kamphoff:I love it love it so you can check out that exercise in Caroline’s but getting grit mom you know, one of the other things that I really liked that you talked about Caroline is you talk about how building passion to fuel purpose is really key so tell us about the passion piece, and maybe your perspective and how you see that connecting with grit?

Caroline: Okay, great question so there’s a researcher Robert valor in in Canada has done research on what’s called ceremonies passion and obsessive passion and best the best analogy to this is a relationship where your partner is loves you and accepts you but doesn’t jealously guard your time and kind of beliefs you versus the obsessive passion, which is that not so great relationship, so what he has found is that passion, when you think again passion in pursuit of hard goals. It has to be the right kind of passion it can’t be an all or nothing kind of passion to have eggs in a variety of different baskets so if you’re trying to make the Olympics, and you know, whatever it is and you don’t achieve it, it’s not everything about who you are there’s a harmony in your life that allows you to do your best with what you have when you can versus it’s the sum total of who you are and so that’s just an important distinction, the passion research that I like.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah that’s really good and I’m thinking about what you kind of talked about at the beginning about women who are struggling right midlife or also just people right now,

who might feel passionless and I think COIVD has you know adjust made us adjust all like we’ve all had to adjust to it, but I find even for me it’s times around just like doing the same thing over and over and over again, I have to remind myself of my passion, just to kind of excited and going What would you say for those people who may be listening and saying gosh I feel passionless?

Caroline: That’s a great question and one thing we know is that the brain loves novelty, which is why hot peppers are so um you know popular because when you have explosions of novelty or newness in the brain, they kind of creates a little bookmark in the brain it creates a little spark of July so the passion that you might feel for life could be stale you may need to you know change it up with a certain amount of creativity find something out of your zone of comfort to do to learn somebody to be with, even if it’s on zoom, read a book, I find myself listening to podcast I wouldn’t ordinarily listen to, because I want to change things up and learn something new outside of my normal kind of interest so as passionate as I am about learning why people tick in a certain way, and how to help them optimize themselves I’m trying new areas to actually I’ll find that so that I don’t get stale just reading the same things and listening to the same people all the time, so novelty can really spark passion.

Cindra Kamphoff: Excellent. You talked a lot about today hard goals and the happiest people are pursuing articles, can you give us some examples of hard goals for you or hard goals of some of your clients yes I’m thinking about trying to give the people who are listening some concrete examples of hard goals?

Caroline: Okay, great question and so what’s hard for me is not going to be hard for somebody else and vice versa, so it’s really important that people not judge what their hard looks like because I think some people get into the you know upward compare it social comparisons well if it’s not hard for them, then why is it hard for me I can’t pick it out, that means I’m a loser, whatever it is hard means it’s something outside of your comfort zone, maybe it’s a skill that you’ve never learned, I think, for a lot of people and executives during COVID it was hard to learn to be on zoom I know my husband, I saw him having a business meeting one day and I saw him looking down into a dark computer. I plug the ring light right in front of him, I was like you’ve got to learn how to do this and it was hard for him, and so it wasn’t hard for you know in our families very famous influence our it’s not hard for her to learn how to do zoom meetings and lights and the rest of it so hard means that it’s something that you want to do that, you need to do in order to achieve an important goal to you at least it’s going to take a while, and it could be learning something new, trying to figure out what it feels like to master driving a stick shift car you know, going out of your comfort zone to ask somebody out on a zoom date I mean hard is hard for everybody, I do happen to live very close to Katie Lee decade who’s probably the most dominant female athlete in the world and her parents went to you know Father went to college with my husband and I and I’ve had the privilege of watching her grow up just a few houses away from the swamp next to her, and what I find fascinating is that what Katie sets as hard goals, i.e. breaking world records over and over and over again. I think some people would say, well, my goodness, if you’re using smart goals and they have to be realistic, then that’s not a good way to set goals hard for her is different than hard for somebody who doesn’t have that

kind of drive talents success family structure. So we have to be really careful not to decide what hard is for other people, because we might be limiting that extraordinary people set unfathomably hard goals, because for them it’s not as far their comfort zone, as it would be, for me, which is why I’m hope, I said that right. The spirit is there, which is why in my fifth book creating your best life which just got reissued. I made sure that I destroyed this idea of smart goals that’s not the heuristic by which people should be setting goals realistic does not match goal setting theory everybody just throw out the smart goal stuff the evidence doesn’t support it hard goals are not always realistic goals, it’s just your heart is different from someone else’s hard.

Cindra Kamphoff: Oh that’s really good Caroline I’m glad I asked you that question I think about hard goals for me take courage you know so maybe that’s also something to think about thinking about what’s an article for you, that it takes you really pushing yourself and being courageous and you know I’ve been thinking about goals for my own self because I’ve read a lot of locking Latham’s work in the goal setting research, but I find like when I see goals is like, who I can become you know, it helps me set more difficult goals are courageous goals, I think I was taught, maybe even in sport, you know the smart girl processing check it off did it, but then you know if I don’t dream is big when I feel like you know kind of set in this smart goal framework.

Caroline: Yeah you’re touching on some interesting new research on ideal selves versus actual selves and I think too many people are showing up every day is there actual self just the salt, they were yesterday kind of the default mode of who they are and the office who they think they should be or who their culture or their parents or their spouse thinks they should be versus who is your ideal self and too often I’m going to go back to women that I think this is this true for both men and women, but a lot for women is they don’t take the time to identify who their ideal self is who they would most like to be in the future, if change was not an obstacle and fear didn’t exist, we all need to identify our ideal selves we know even from the research that you save more money for retirement, if you identify to be friended your ideal self so that’s another exercise associated with that from positive psychology that I like but ideal self is is a goal.

Cindra Kamphoff: Excellent, and I was thinking about her goals and courage and everything we just said and made me think about the risk-taking chapter in your book about how that’s really important, how do you see that connecting with grit?

Caroline: Oh, in every possible way, because, as you said, you said it takes courage to pursue hard goals in order to pursue hard goals you don’t necessarily know what the outcome of your efforts will be so risk taking is about stretching your arm out as far as it will go and making the goal you’re trying to accomplish just slightly outside of the fingertips, I mean your reach should exceed your graph and that’s because you don’t find out what you’re made of you don’t find out who your friends are you don’t find out where your tops right so you don’t find out a whole lot unless you’re actually going outside of your comfort zone, and we know that in history and we’re not telling women’s history and not from you in Wikipedia. Only 16% of the biographies and Wikipedia or women because their stories have not been told, the ones who stories have

been told his biographies have made it into Wikipedia are unilaterally rule breakers and rebels and there was nothing easy about what they chose to do they often had to violate social precepts they had to go against the grain, they were often you know hurt for it, you know burned at the stake, but when you look at who has lived on in history, who has what I call Mount Rushmore grit. The kind of life, they live stood at a turning point in history, and it was the way they did what they did that caused them to have followers. The humility, the dignity and think about Martin Luther King you think about Harriet Tubman you think about so many of the people who stood at the arc of history or something changed they have that kind of grid, but they were rebels and rule breakers don’t live a safe small life, it may be harder at times, but the truth is it’s going to be more meaningful and at the end of life you’re going to have so many fewer regrets that you’ll have joy in the fact that you left it all on the floor.

Cindra Kamphoff: Caroline I knew this was going to be an awesome conversation.
Caroline: And exceeded my expectations, so I am so grateful for you. What I really enjoyed about this episode and just my conversation with you, was the importance of going after a whole lot hard goals, being courageous, we also talked about issues related to women and teaching grit and developing grid, we talked about the role of empowering emotions wow the different you know the types of grits good that is not helpful, we talked about risk taking so I’m so grateful that you are on.

Caroline: Oh, thank you, thank you for giving me a platform to talk about what I’m so passionate about and I’m very grateful and if people want to learn more are beyond my newsletter list or even be among the first to find out about my eBook on mastermind groups for women, which again all women should be in mastermind groups that are carefully formed with the right rules, just text, the word goal 233777 or just go to my website Caroline Miller calm poke around there’s free stuff there’s chapter, he says, but sign up for my newsletter and you’ll always know what’s happening at least in my little world so.

Cindra Kamphoff: Do you have any final advice for us, Caroline?

Caroline: Um find out what other people’s goals are and make sure you do something to help them accomplish their goals, too, because it’s not just about us it’s about all of us and it’s coded left us with nothing else it’s really that we have to have compassionate grit which is doing hard things so that other people’s lives are better to so I’ll just leave you with compassionate grit is another kind of grit that emerged for me this year that I think we all need to have.

Cindra Kamphoff: Excellent Thank you Caroline. Caroline: Thank you.

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