What is it? It’s that elusive quality that we want all our patients to have: the drive to stick to the plan we’ve made together to reach their long term goals and to push themselves to meet it.
What a perfect patient. How many of your patients does that describe? 1? 2? I can think of 1 on my caseload and that’s up from the recent numbers.
How can we encourage grit in our patients, so they work hard, stick it out and meet their long term goals making 1) themselves happy with their outcomes and 2) improving our likelihood of being paid in the upcoming quality payment system?
EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION!
In the video above, Angela Duckworth mentions briefly that the key to understanding grit is changing how we — and our patients– look at the brain. Traditionally, we were taught the brain is something like a Jello mold. I remember seeing an advertisement in the early nineties saying, “Put everything in your brain you want and nothing you don’t before it sets!” with a picture of a Jello mold with toys it in. This old way of thinking emphasizes that the brain stops growing, stops changing at some point in childhood and then nothing but perhaps decline happens after that. WRONG! Enter neuroplasticity theory. With the current understanding of neuroplasticity, the brain is continuously remolding itself throughout life. This is called learning. Learning physiologically breaks our brains and puts it back together at the DNA level in a new and more organized and useful fashion. (Click the link for an article and discussion on that topic.) With this understanding, we can forge ahead in our learning– whether academic or motor– no matter what we score on tests. Tests are just another exercise in breaking and re-building the brain and makes us better in the long run.
Keep breaking brains and always strive to be better than you were yesterday.