Author(s): Angela DuckworthDownload
Publish: Published May 3rd 2016 by Collins
ISBN: ISBN 1443442313 (ISBN13: 9781443442312)
In this must-read book for anyone striving to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows parents, educators, 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, 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.
Some Reviews: 41,546 ratings 3,399 reviews in Goodreads.com
“‘You’re no genius,’ my dad used to say when I was just a little girl. I realize now he was talking to himself a much as he was talking to me.If you define genius as being able to accomplish great things in life without effort, then he was right: I’m no genius, and neither is he.But if, instead, you define genius as working toward excellence, ceaselessly, with every element of your being–then, in fact, my dad is a genius, and so am I,[…]and if you’re willing, so are you.”This passage from the last page, pretty well sums it up.Go get ’em, champ.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Angela Duckworth is an engaging narrator, arguing her case for grit and its cultivation very eloquently and following them up with proven studies and anecdotes. Highly recommended for people who are tired of self-help books that only serve to stroke one’s ego/break their ego down, as this book occupies the elusive middle space that allows you to reassess your life, reassures you that you’re moving in the right direction (even if you feel that what you’re currently doing may not be the best path for you, but your effort is not in vain), and prompts you to do better. I wish I read this book as a teenager, but better late than never.
At the same time that baseball’s sabermetric community is dismissing old codgers’ belief that subpar baseball players can succeed via grittiness alone, Duckworth and others (e.g. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
) are highlighting the importance of this trait is for success in life. At first glance, these perspectives seem to be contradictory, but I’ve learned a lot from both and I think they’re both right.Sabermetric’s dismissal is correct because “grit” in that setting is an ambiguous catch-all for trying hard and (quite often) doing things that look hardworking and effective but that actually aren’t.Duckworth et al are correct because “grit” can actually be defined and quantified. Having grit isn’t the same as having success, but it’s often a critical component to achieving goals.
Duckworth herself is a paragon of grit, and she does a nice job explaining the concept and its effects, mixing anecdotes and academic studies as she does so. She then shows how grit can be developed and improved, and this is a helpful, practical exploration.
I’ve seen some reviews (especially from professional reviewers) that note that many questions about grit remain unanswered. Doubtless. I expect that Duckworth’s work is but the beginning of our learning on this topic, and much depth and breadth will be added to our understanding the years ahead. Even so, there’s a lot to learn already.
This was quite an interesting book and I would recommend it to anyone who is wondering why some people succeed in their lives.It’s not really a how-to book, nor is it a self-help book. It’s more of an exploration of a certain trait that successful people have in common: i.e. grit, essentially stick-to-it-ness, for lack of a better synonym. If anything, this book seemed to me to be more of a primer on grit, rather than any sort of deep analysis. This is probably because it was very easy to understand and written to be accessible to the general public. The author did a fantastic job of fulfilling that goal.For me personally, this book was not really helpful in making me a more successful person, but it was very useful because it explained why I have been successful in some areas and not in others. In some areas of my life I am an exceedingly gritty person. Learning for instance. I have a passion for learning and my work ethic for studying is hardcore. I spend hours a day studying, be it Japanese, psychology, classic literature, statistics, whatever. I will get it done. I have passions that have lasted a very long time and I cling to them like a lifeline. I have been working on the same research for the past 7 years and am still fascinated by it and am getting better at analyzing it and seeing new trends. This is pretty much a poster child for grit.On the other hand, I have never actually learned to play an instrument even though I’ve tried two, and I stink at any and all sports because I never stick to them long enough to get good at them. Reading this book made me realize that if I want to be successful in these areas I need to approach them with the same level of stick-to-it-ness that I do for studying. No brainer, right?
Angela Duckworth explains why there’s so much more to success and achievement than talent in a way that is succinct, understandable, and, most importantly, inspirational. She combines real research with personal anecdotes to give readers a thorough understanding of a gritty individual – those people that “have a deep and abiding interest, a ready appetite for constant challenge, an evolved sense of purpose, and buoyant confidence in [their] ability to keep going that no adversity could sink. And, if you feel like you need more grit in your life, she talks about how it isn’t a fixed asset, it’s something you can grow by:
1. finding your passion(s)
2. cultivating your passion through deliberate practice – identifying your weakest skills and deliberately practicing that skill until you master it
3. determining how your passion can contribute to the world at large – finding the purpose in your passion
4. developing a growth mindset regarding your skill (instead of settling for a fixed mindset and self-imposed limitations) and practicing positive self-talk when encountering challenges and setbacks
5. there’s a sweet spot with parenting others and governing yourself- be warm and loving but have high expectations
6. find a mentor or role model and emulate (not imitate) them
7. don’t quit early or often when it comes to things that will move you closer to your goals
8. surround yourself with like-minded, gritty peopleAn important book for parents, leaders, coaches, students, the gritty, and those aspiring to be more so.