Get Your ZOG On!

Psychologists Dr. Martin Seligman and Angela Duckworth say personal & attitudinal intangibles differentiate the winners and losers. At Camp BizSmart we call it the “ZOG Factor”: Zest, Optimism and Grit.

Zest is defined as living life with a sense of excitement, anticipation, and energy. Zest is approaching life as an adventure, being awed by the everyday possibility of something new and different. Zest is essentially the courage, and self motivation to complete challenging situations and tasks. Those who have zest exude excitement and energy in school, at home and at work. When they get a flat tire, they don’t hang their heads in defeat, but think—“how fast can I get the spare on and be on my way”. Zestful people are vivacious & perform tasks wholeheartedly, adventurously, with enthusiasm and verve. True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Optimism is a positive, “Can Do Attitude”, about life, school and work.  Optimism is entirely self-determined and can be learned.  Train yourself to see solutions, not just problems; cultivate an optimistic outlook and mentor & encourage others by setting “stretch” goals and affirming their progress.  Just as a positive attitude can be learned and developed so can a pessimistic and helpless one. Innovators, entrepreneurs and inventors have the ability to see the future as they wish it to be and then work toward making that vision a reality.  They are not concerned with limited resources, limited experience or even limited amounts of encouragement; they are committed to a big picture goal and just start building.

Grit is sticking with things over the very long term until you master them. Angela Duckworth states that “the gritty individual approaches achievement as a marathon; his or her advantage is stamina.”

Duckworth’s research suggests that when it comes to high achievement, grit may be as essential as intelligence. That’s a significant finding because for a long time, intelligence was considered the key to success.

Developing a pioneering spirit in our children means allowing them to face a challenge and possibly fail in order that they can learn to try again and eventually succeed.  If we remove all the obstacles in life we also remove what makes a life interesting and becoming all we can be by learning from failure.   People with grit and persistence are able to advance that great idea past mighty resistance or tough competitors.  People with grit use a challenge to sharpen their focus and create new products and services, sometimes even before the customer knows they really need them. Think about it, how many people, just a few years ago were clamoring for an iPhone?

Just like the sand in an oyster, grit ends up causing the friction which creates a beautiful pearl – or better idea, product or service. Grit is the hallmark of people who can stay on track when the going gets tough, and who show a tenacity and resilience in the face of adversity.

Camp BizSmart brings successful leaders and entrepreneurs from established companies like Microsoft and Cisco and award winning start-ups like EKSO Bionics and mOasis, for students to observe and to network with as mentors while they experiment to create solutions to real business and current issue problems as they are coached through hands-on project based real world projects.  Students get to ask provocative questions and to invent new concepts and innovations, developing their zest, optimism and grit through the process. Join us this summer and get your ZOG on!

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