The Future Belongs to Those With Grit

If you’re not imbuing your children and friends with grit—as a core part of their identity—they will soon be driving rich people around and bringing them food. Rich people who probably have grit themselves.

The way I describe grit to my friends is that it’s the quality that allows you to aggressively and consistently pursue long-term goals. It’s basically a superpower.

I mean the hard-working, education/career-based elite, not the super-rich class.

It’s what many immigrants have that later generations don’t. It’s what the new Chinese elite have in the US, where parents from China instill the concepts of elitism and pedigree and competition into their children from an extremely early age.

One of the learning chains popular in the Bay Area

There are learning centers like this all over the Bay Area, and most big cities, and they’re full of Asians. They’re full of kids who have parents who have grit, and who will soon have grit themselves.

They’re full of kids who will soon be running the country.


Because people with grit are better at saving money. They are better at school. They’re better at postponing gratification (almost the definition), and because of these things they’re going to be the ones with the good jobs, the high salaries, and the vast proportion of the wealth and power.

This is especially true now, in a world where Humans Need Not Apply. In a marketplace where only the smartest and most knowledgeable will have good jobs, it’ll be the people who are most educated and financially disciplined that will succeed.

They will be the ones who can pay to stay continuously educated, can ensure their kids have the best schooling, the best connections, and have access to the most resources.

Unsupervised Learning — Security, Tech, and AI in 10 minutes…

Get a weekly breakdown of what's happening in security and tech—and why it matters.

The other 75-90% will either be out of the job market altogether or will be working jobs that basically support the top 10%’s comfortable lifestyles. These jobs will be largely in the services industries: transportation, healthcare, food service, personal assistants, etc.

And these jobs will not be pleasant. Hours will be unpredictable, grueling, sporadic, and the employers will have all the leverage because there will be many people out of work trying to get the same positions.

Anyway, some of that is a diversion into a separate topic, where I’m seriously concerned about the health of the American system due to the force of automation and AI.

But even taking that off the table, I see the world splitting into two main classes–Alphas and Betas.

There’s a lot of support for this in the data.

And I believe grit will be one of the top attributes that differentiate who goes into which class.

Intelligence obviously plays a factor, as does luck, but I believe the biggest advantage will be the ability to grind. Grinding through school. Grinding through saving money. Grinding through acquiring credentials and wealth. And then grinding through doing all of this again for their kids.

If you don’t have grit, or you know friends (and especially parents) who don’t have it, do your best to improve it in yourself and in them.


  1. Luck is often indiscernible from talent, but as someone once said: “Luck favors the well-prepared”.

Related posts: