Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Angela Duckworth
In this must-read book for anyone striving to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows parents, educators, athletes, students, and business people—both seasoned and new—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a focused persistence called “grit.”Why do some people succeed and others fail? Sharing new insights from her landmark research on grit, MacArthur “genius” Angela Duckworth explains why talent is hardly a guarantor of success. Rather, other factors can be even more crucial such as identifying our passions and following through on our commitments. Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently bemoaned her lack of smarts, Duckworth describes her winding path through teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not “genius” but a special blend of passion and long-term perseverance. As a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Duckworth created her own “character lab” and set out to test her theory. Here, she takes readers into the field to visit teachers working in some of the toughest schools, cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee. She also mines fascinating insights from history and shows what can be gleaned from modern experiments in peak performance. Finally, she shares what she’s learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers—from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to the cartoon editor of The New Yorker to Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll. Winningly personal, insightful, and even life-changing, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that—not talent or luck—makes all the difference.


Reviewed: 2017-03-11

The older I get, the more I realize it really is about 80% brawn and 20% talent. This book builds on other points made in books such as Talent is Overrated. It does a good job at citing academic research, some of which was performed by the author. It also does a good job of tying in these academic finding to real life. If you're looking for inspiration, I think this is a good choice. I know I've always prided myself on my ability to work hard, and this book seems to confirm I have been on to something. I suspect it would be a good read for young people, and parents who are looking to raise children with the right habits and the right work ethic.

·          Deliberate practice: continuous improvement, addressing areas of shortfall, breaking out what you know to be right/good + what you're unsure of (focus on experimentation).


·          You need to consider your tendency to stay the course and not experiment much as a kind of "learned helplessness" from growing up in a the house with two agressive, mean persons. You simply did what you had to do to avoid being in their cross hairs... so you just accepted their criticism as true. This needs to stop.


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