Grit STEM Talk
by Ryan Park
The SciFi Parents sponsored our first in-person STEM Talk of the school year in December with Joshua Spitzen, a man familiar with the concept of success. Having graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Pomona College with a focus in Mathematical Economics, Josh was always on a path of betterment. After graduating from Pomona, he became an investment banker with Patricof and Co. in New York City, helping to manage several mergers and acquisitions. Josh later followed his passion for fitness, serving as an executive with Equinox Fitness Clubs where he honed his leadership acumen. Eventually, Mr. Spitzen joined one of the nation’s largest real estate companies, Keller Williams, with high ambitions for a career with the company. Over time, Josh Spitzen honed his leadership skills and was chosen as C.E.O. of KW’s Beverly Hills offices. Josh now personally oversees and manages close to 1000 agents, and 20 staff members in four Keller Williams offices – culminating in a powerful network of global reach and authentic partnerships.
In addition, Josh volunteers his time to offer his motivational skills in order to help students maximize their potential. He is a big believer in the concept of Grit as outlined by Angela Duckworth in her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. He believes that the resilience that comes from developing Grit can go a long way towards helping students persevere on their pathways to success. The five core ideas of Grit are Beast, Effort Counts, Gritty Passion, Grow Grit, and Wise Parents. He shared the video linked below, by Brian Johnson, which goes into more detail on these components and helps students learn how to incorporate these elements into their lives:
In addition, like many people, Mr. Spitzen is a big believer in affirmations: daily statements that help you visualize a desired outcome. At the culmination of the STEM Talk, Josh led the school in his series of affirmations:
I prosper wherever I turn because…
- I am in control of my destiny and I choose to succeed.
- I choose love, joy, and freedom.
- I am brave and fearless. I embrace fear and let it propel my growth.
- I deserve to be happy, healthy and wealthy.
- I have many reasons to be grateful.
- I have a growth-mindset.
- I embrace the process.
- I am changing and I am improving every day.
- I achieve my goals.
- I believe in myself and so do others.
- I am decisive.
- I am healthy and fit.
- I take responsibility for creating my life.
- I am intelligent and kind.
- I project an image of power and confidence.
- I ask for help when I need it. Asking for help is a sign of strength.
- None of us is as smart as all of us.
- I help others become successful.
- Together we all accomplish more.
As Josh stated, talent attracts talent and environment matters. Hopefully, his advice can help you create the right environment to realize your talents!