In her instant, multi-month New York Times bestseller, Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.” “Inspiration for non-geniuses everywhere” (People).
The daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of “genius,” Angela Duckworth is now a celebrated researcher and professor. It was her early eye-opening stints in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience that led to her hypothesis about what really drives success: not genius, but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance.
In Grit, she takes us into the field to visit cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, teachers working in some of the toughest schools, 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 New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff to Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll.
“Duckworth’s ideas about the cultivation of tenacity have clearly changed some lives for the better” (The New York Times Book Review). Among Grit’s most valuable insights: any effort you make ultimately counts twice toward your goal; grit can be learned, regardless of IQ or circumstances; when it comes to child-rearing, neither a warm embrace nor high standards will work by themselves; how to trigger lifelong interest; the magic of the Hard Thing Rule; and so much more. 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. This is “a fascinating tour of the psychological research on success” (The Wall Street Journal).
What makes high achievers successful, MacArthur Fellow Duckworth writes, is grit a "combination of passion and perseverance" coupled to their raw talent. Talent is important, she acknowledges, but talent multiplied by grit is what builds skill, and skill multiplied by grit equals achievement. Duckworth believes that talent or genius is innate, but "grit grows." In three sections, she defines grit, then shows how it can develop "from the outside in" and "from the inside out." She mixes descriptions of her own experience with notable success stories, such as that of quarterback Steve Young, and discoveries in psychology, creating a highly readable guide to achievement. "This book has been my way of taking you out for a coffee and telling you what I know," Duckworth concludes. She includes a self-assessment quiz, advice from Warren Buffet on identifying personal goals, and a chapter devoted to the ideal parenting style a combination of supportive and demanding for those who want to encourage the development of grit in their children. This is an informative and inspiring contribution to the literature of success.
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Excellent read with clear concise insights
Angela Duckworth’s writing brings clear images to the forefront of our minds. We get to experience aha moments as she connects the dots. This book should be at the top of anyone’s list that is looking for a better understanding of how to achieve more for themselves or others around them.
Fantastic! Thank you for all the hard work!
Interesting, but incomplete
I’m not suggesting this book needs to be comprehensive in its treatment of motivation and intent, but it seems to assume an environment that is conducive to grit and offers little discussion of developing grit in circumstances where it doesn’t already exist (at least to some degree). Maybe grit is like yogurt. You need some to get more, but there is a need for examining how grit can arise in new generations where the environment isn’t primed.