Achievement & Longevity

We now turn to the final piece in the PERMA model: Achievement. Understanding and pursuing achievement is not only critical for overall well-being but also has profound implications for our healthspan and lifespan.

The Importance of Achievement

Achievement boosts self-esteem and enhances overall well-being. From a young age, we are taught to strive for success, and society rewards us for our accomplishments. Whether it’s in academics, career, sports, or personal goals, the drive to achieve is ingrained in us.

The Formula for Achievement

Angela Duckworth’s research on Grit—the power of passion and perseverance—highlights the importance of sustained effort in achieving long-term goals. Her formula for achievement is simple yet profound:

  • Achievement = Skill x Effort
    • Holding factors like luck and opportunity constant:
      • Skill = Talent x Effort
        • Talent refers to a high rate of learning.
        • Therefore, effort counts twice in the equation.
          • Achievement = Skill x Effort²
            – You get a bigger return from an increase in effort than in skill.

Achieving Longevity

The value of grit is captured well by the quote pictured here. It’s the compounding of daily effort by everyday people to make choices that favor health and well-being. There is no magic pill. Data demonstrates that adults with higher levels of grit are more likely to engage in regular physical activity, maintain a healthy diet, and manage stress effectively. These behaviors contribute to better mental and physical health outcomes, emphasizing the role of grit in promoting long-term health.

In our practice we ask our patients to do a lot. The foundation is training for a growth mindset, the belief that abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Cultivating grit enables this mindset, which has been linked to better health outcomes. A study from Stanford found that people with a growth mindset are more likely to adopt healthier behaviors, persist in the face of challenges, and recover better from illness.

If you don’t put effort into your wellness, you will be forced to put effort into for your illness.

Lasting health doesnt happen by accident. Define your goal for lasting health and reverse engineer it through sustained daily effort. Celebrate your achievements. No matter where you are in your health journey, adopting a growth mindset and cultivate grit. Your future self will thank you for it.

What are your goals and what are the first steps you can take to achieving it?

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