Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) are providing new insight into what helps people achieve success. The experts pinpointed a combination of factors that drive achievement, such as passion and determination, and found that the recipe for success varies between men and women.
The study was focused on three specific qualities that contribute to accomplishment: passion, grit, and a positive mindset. The researchers discovered that men mostly rely on their passion to achieve success, while women are largely driven by staying positive.
“We found big differences between the sexes in some areas,” said study author Professor Hermundur Sigmundsson.
The results showed that the same degree of grit was needed for achievement in both sexes, but men had a significantly greater need for passion.
Among women, all three factors – passion, optimism, and grit – are strongly intertwined, with a positive outlook being an essential component of success.
Optimism is not a significant driver of success in men, who are motivated by a powerful interaction between passion and grit.
“Men have to burn more for something to succeed at it. They need to be more passionate about what they undertake,” explained Professor Sigmundsson.
The finding that boys need passion to fuel their determination could prove useful for educators who are involved in shaping programs.
If boys do not feel enthusiastic about a subject, their grit may simply not kick in. This could explain why girls generally perform better in school, according to the study authors.
Even though optimism is not as interconnected as passion and grit among men, a positive outlook is still needed for goal setting.
“But even though a positive mindset is a good starting point, it isn’t enough. You also need focused training, passion, grit, and support from others – like mentors, teachers and coaches,” said Professor Sigmundsson.
The study is published in the journal New Ideas in Psychology.