Grit in Data Science Draft

We discover how resilient we are (or not) when we are going through the most difficult challenges. However, we build that resilience over time by overcoming both large and small obstacles. In other words, by the time we need it, it may already be too late.

The act of “getting through” tough times is in itself grows grit, but not on purpose. It a painful way to become resilient. And the whole experience becomes useless unless you consciously integrate that experience into your character. Because we are wired to forget these painful moments, we do not stop to analyse how we got through it, just that we did and it’s over.

Thank goodness.

But we can train ourselves to be resilient by specifically seeking out opportunities to challenge ourselves. Public speaking, becoming published, or even learning a difficult skill like chess. These high-pressure, (sometimes) low-stakes activities create the habit of resilience, which transfers to our everyday lives and careers.

Right now, I am practicing the resilience I have built up over the years. My class is located 1 hour and 20 minutes from my home, and I have two very young children who need my attention every moment they are awake. These challenges, along with the rigor of the class mean that focus and grit are essential.

I have learned that resilience means asking for help when I need it. It means being organized (this is a huge challenge!). It means being willing to pull myself away from those I love to complete projects. And it means accepting many, many “mini-failures”.

This is science, and the Scientific Method tells us we must run experiments to discover the truth. My experiment may feel arduous, but it is thrilling to prove to myself over and over again: I can do this.

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