I Took TED's Stupid Grit Quiz!

If you're a sports fan like I am, you know that championships aren't won with talent or sound strategy or even proper personnel evaluation. They are won with HUSTLE and HEART and ECKSTEINIAN fortitude that cannot be measured, because measuring things is for nerds and pussies.

Well, I'm happy to report that one bold TED speaker, Angela Lee Duckworth, has expanded this philosophy out into the real world and determined that success in life can be determined by a single, unifying factor: GRIT. I'll let her explain:

"Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it's a marathon, not a sprint."

I assume this quote is on a placard somewhere in the St. Louis Cardinals clubhouse. Obviously, the idea of working hard and being persistent to achieve your long-term goals is completely new and REVOLUTIONARY in and of itself. But Duckworth is taking her Joe Morgan zen koan to the next level by attempting to make it scientific:

To me, the most shocking thing about grit is how little we know, how little science knows, about building it.

This is because science deals with actual things, instead of motivational horseshit.

Every day, parents and teachers ask me, "How do I build grit in kids?"

Personally? I beat them.

What I do know is that talent doesn't make you gritty.

A LESSON FOR YOU, JADEVEON CLOWNEY.

We need to be gritty about getting our kids grittier.

Indeed we do. Thankfully, Duckworth and her team have devised a simple quiz to accurately measure your intangibles, which by definition can't ever be accurately measured. But science ain't hearing that shit, because it has GRIT. I took the test to measure my own Welkerian-ness. Now, the test says there are no right or wrong answers. But they're just kidding. If you answer wrong, you're clearly a shiftless, lazy person, and you're gonna be poor, LULZ. Here are my results:

1. I have overcome setbacks to conquer an important challenge.

 Very much like me

 Mostly like me

 Somewhat like me

 Not much like me

 Not like me at all

The nice thing about this quiz is that I can apply my own completely subjective criteria to every question! For you, a challenge might be climbing a mountain. And your setback might be, I dunno, having no legs. Whereas for me, a challenge might entail sending out a tweet with one hand while taking a piss. And my setback might be when my stream of urine veers off to the side and I have to grab some toilet paper to mop it up while making sure I don't drop my phone into the toilet. And I'm proud to say that I have conquered such a challenge AND overcome such a setback. VERY MUCH LIKE ME.

2. New ideas and projects sometimes distract me from previous ones.*

 Very much like me

 Mostly like me

 Somewhat like me

 Not much like me

 Not like me at all

Right before I answered this question, I took a Cosmopolitan quiz about whether or not I'd like to have a finger jammed up my butt during intercourse. Results were inconclusive! Anyway… sometimes I get distracted. But I am a multitasker, which means I can be distracted AND focus all at once. I keep a few burners going on the stove, you know? So the fact that I just checked my email five times doesn't interrupt the portion of my brain that is dialed in and GRITTY and ready to overcome the challenge of answering this question about my ADHD. NOT LIKE ME AT ALL.

3. My interests change from year to year.*

 Very much like me

 Mostly like me

 Somewhat like me

 Not much like me

 Not like me at all

Pfft. Drinking? Weed? Masturbation? Football? Like I'd ever wean myself from those interests. I am COMMITTED, Ms. Duckworth. I am ruthlessly determined to sit here and not do anything. I'd like to see the President show this kind of consistency. NOT LIKE ME AT ALL.

4. Setbacks don't discourage me.

 Very much like me

 Mostly like me

 Somewhat like me

 Not much like me

 Not like me at all

Again, the neat thing here is that I can define "setbacks" any way I like! This is how science works: You can quantify anything intangible by introducing MORE intangible concepts to the mix. And I'm proud to say that I never ever ever…

[Computer crashes.]

[Blue screen of death.]

[THIS FUCKING COMPUTER GODDAMIT I COULD KILL THE WORLD]

[Kicks desk.]

[Desk leg breaks.]

[Computer falls to floor.]

[Crying.]

Why? Why me? Why, God? Why does everything bad happen to ME and me only? I hate you, God. YOU GIFTED ME THIS MISERY YOU CRUEL FUCK. I hate everyone. I hate the world. I want to die. I can't go on another day.

Anyway, no, I don't think I let setbacks get the best of me. VERY MUCH LIKE ME to plow straight through them.

5. I have been obsessed with a certain idea or project for a short time but later lost interest.*

 Very much like me

 Mostly like me

 Somewhat like me

 Not much like me

 Not like me at all

I was totally into Heroes that first season. Does that count? Because I stuck with that shit, even when it got stupid, and that one girl who cried ink showed up, and the one cute Japanese guy went back in time and didn't even kill Hitler. I mean, I really stuck with that idiot show. Much to my detriment, really. I could have built a death ray, or learned to love my own children. But that's not how I roll. When I start something… I finish it, no matter how futile and pointless it may be. That's how proper prioritization works! All success in life is determined by rigid stubbornness. NOT LIKE ME AT ALL.

6. I am a hard worker.

 Very much like me

 Mostly like me

 Somewhat like me

 Not much like me

 Not like me at all

Nope. I'm a sloth. I'm a pig. I just take up space and hope everyone does my work for me. Hahahaha, just kidding, I'm a rock star. Like I'd ever admit on a public test that I'm too lazy to get a tissue to clean my boogers. I just put them under the floor mat in my Kia. The car wash guys always groan when I pull up. Just vacuum that shit, yo. VERY MUCH LIKE ME to be a hard worker [sly wink].

7. I often set a goal but later choose to pursue a different one.*

 Very much like me

 Mostly like me

 Somewhat like me

 Not much like me

 Not like me at all

What's nice is that this question is pretty much just a rewording of the previous six questions. I have a new goal now: to simplify this test for the TED researchers. Are you ready? Here we go:

Hey, are you lazy?

Are you distracted easily?

Did you answer yes to both those questions? Then sign up for welfare now, because you suck. By the way, I just saw my goal through! Switching horses mid-stream? NOT LIKE ME AT ALL.

8. I have difficulty maintaining my focus on projects that take more than a few months to complete.

 Very much like me

 Mostly like me

 Somewhat like me

 Not much like me

 Not like me at all

I just fucking answered this! This is the same question! Is this a prank quiz? Are they constantly asking me if I'm persistent to demonstrate their own persistence? Or do they not even realize how repetitive and pointless this quiz is? I'm going to have to ask Ms. Duckworth to take this Grit Wonderlic so that I can get to the bottom of her own grittiness. Tim Tebow will be the test monitor.

Anyway, it actually took me seven months to answer this question. I had to see a few movies and take a trip to Oxnard in between. But I finished it, by god. So don't talk to me about losing focus. NOT LIKE ME AT ALL.

9. I finish whatever I begin.

 Very much like me

 Mostly like me

 Somewhat like me

 Not much like me

 Not like me at all

You know what? I propose we have Sammy Hagar sing all of the questions listed here:

Look at his pants, man. Those are quality pants.

In all seriousness, look again at how redundant these questions are. Look again. Now look. See how redundant they are? They're redundant, right? Redundant. Someone actually thought they could draw a scientific conclusion from this. I wonder if these people also designed the Common Core standardized testing currently ADORED by parents and children all over the nation.

But even though this test is completely insane and valueless, I am determined to see it through to the bitter end. I obey Hagar and finish what I start, amigo. VERY MUCH LIKE ME.

10. I have achieved a goal that took years of work.

 Very much like me

 Mostly like me

 Somewhat like me

 Not much like me

 Not like me at all

I have pubes. You know how long it took to grow those babies? And I didn't get any implants or anything. My crotch lawn is PURE DREW. VERY MUCH LIKE ME.

11. I become interested in new pursuits every few months.*

 Very much like me

 Mostly like me

 Somewhat like me

 Not much like me

 Not like me at all

Well, I was heavy into Weezer for a while. But that sort of faded, although I think that was for the best. Anyway, I'm glad this quiz dug deep, and tried to evaluate my daily habits and energy levels and best work practices, instead of asking me over and over and over again if I'm hyperactive. I feel like I can bare my soul to this quiz. Talk to it all day. Maybe even explore something beyond friendship with it. Other random, impersonable quizzes just aren't on my wavelength. You… horribly written test that helps a professional bullshitter retrofit evidence to back her own conclusions… you get me. We'll be together forever. Other pursuits? A second love affair with Weezer? NOT LIKE ME AT ALL.

12. I am diligent.

 Very much like me

 Mostly like me

 Somewhat like me

 Not much like me

 Not like me at all

God, I'm hungry. I don't wanna finish this. I'm just gonna cut and paste VERY MUCH LIKE ME here. Whatever. Fuck it.

Now… let's see how I did on the GRITOMETER!

Scoring:

1. For questions 1, 4, 6, 9, 10 and 12 assign the following points:

5 = Very much like me

4 = Mostly like me

3 = Somewhat like me

2 = Not much like me

1 = Not like me at all

2. For questions 2, 3, 5, 7, 8 and 11 assign the following points:

1 = Very much like me

2 = Mostly like me

3 = Somewhat like me

4 = Not much like me

5 = Not like me at all

Add up all the points and divide by 12. The maximum score on this scale is 5 (extremely gritty), and the lowest scale on this scale is 1 (not at all gritty).

Ugh, add everything? That sounds hard and tedious. No, Drew! NO! You must fight! You must summon the heart of a champion and finish this, no matter how much it hurts! Because life is a marathon, people.

Anyway, I got 60 points. Let's just divide by 12 and… anyone know what 60 divided by 12 is?

[Asks Twitter.]

FIVE! Five. That makes me extremely gritty. I dare say that I have a bright future here on earth, and it had nothing to do with my education or my family's income level or where I live or who I know or random luck or good genes or proper national infrastructure. Nope. It was all GRIT, baby. Maybe you lazy peons out there could learn a thing or two about it.

Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at drew@deadspin.com. You can also buy Drew's new Kindle Single, The Rover, through Amazon.

Image by Jim Cooke.

The Concourse is Deadspin's home for culture/food/whatever coverage. Follow us on Twitter:@DSconcourse.