Grit
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.

Grit Details

TitleGrit
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 3rd, 2016
PublisherCollins
ISBN-139781443442312
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Psychology, Self Help, Business, Personal Development

Grit Review

  • Elliot
    January 1, 1970
    I've been a fan of Dr. Duckworth and her research since long before she became famous, so it's hard to overstate my disappointment with this title. The fundamental problem with the book is that instead of writing a popularization aimed at the intellectual/policy market, she decided to cash out with a different type of book aimed at the (larger) self-help/business market. The problem with this approach is that the self-help market doesn't want to learn about limits: they want the secret to succes I've been a fan of Dr. Duckworth and her research since long before she became famous, so it's hard to overstate my disappointment with this title. The fundamental problem with the book is that instead of writing a popularization aimed at the intellectual/policy market, she decided to cash out with a different type of book aimed at the (larger) self-help/business market. The problem with this approach is that the self-help market doesn't want to learn about limits: they want the secret to success. And so Duckworth ends up having to sell her "grit" mantra as the secret to success, with unlimited power to overcome all obstacles.At one point, Duckworth tells the story of a waitress who rolled up her sleeves and learned to work every job in the restaurant as needed and got promoted to general manager of the restaurant and now runs a Fortune 500 company. I can tell another story, where a waitress learned to work every job in the restaurant, but management gave the general manager job to the son of the regional vice president. Or the economy went south and the restaurant closed. Or she couldn't give the job anywhere near 100% because her child developed cancer. Or any of the multitude of shitty things that happen in life that are totally beyond any individual's control.There's no room for my waitress in Duckworth's universe. Duckworth silently defines her out of existence. But in the real world, there are a lot more copies of my waitress than of Duckworth's.Of course, Duckworth never outright *says* that grit has unlimited power to produce success, or that my waitress's failure to become a Fortune 500 CEO is her own fault. In fact, Duckworth explicitly denies it. But the book is written in such a way that grit without success is presented only as a theoretical possibility, to be noted and then ignored. The message ends up being that anyone can achieve unlimited success by demonstrating enough grit, and if it doesn't work then all you need to do is demonstrate even more grit. Which is exactly what the self-help/business audience wants to hear: people have unlimited power to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, and the people who are at the top of society because they are just better people.The explicitly-denied-but-much-more-strongly-implied apologia for an imagined meritocracy is further underlined by her fawning portrayal of James Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase. Dimon's predictably self-serving claims about his management style and the corporate culture of JP Morgan Chase are taken at face value, with no interrogation at all.It's quite unfortunate that Duckworth decided to push the presentation of her research in this direction, because her actual research is very good and a popularization that presented her research in a balanced way could have been excellent.
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  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    It was hard to pay attention to or stick with because most of the chapters seemed the same.But perhaps I haven't learned enough grittiness yet.
  • Brandon
    January 1, 1970
    Ultimately, there's not much new in this latest entry in the personal improvement genre. I had high hopes for this book, initially believing that it would have new (to me) insights along the lines of what I found in Carol Dweck's book "Mindset" and Charles Duhigg's "The Power of Habit." Sadly, this book falls quite flat with entirely too much repetition of a singular topic.If you want a tl;dr version of the book, it comes down to this: don't give up. When you are going through hell, keep going. Ultimately, there's not much new in this latest entry in the personal improvement genre. I had high hopes for this book, initially believing that it would have new (to me) insights along the lines of what I found in Carol Dweck's book "Mindset" and Charles Duhigg's "The Power of Habit." Sadly, this book falls quite flat with entirely too much repetition of a singular topic.If you want a tl;dr version of the book, it comes down to this: don't give up. When you are going through hell, keep going. If you quit, no one will care, and you will always know.Two of those quotes aren't mine. One is Churchill, the other is Cmdr. John Collins.Duckworth presents that as an individual, your future success is less gated by innate talent, and more reliant on your ability to see things through. She puts forth that for an individual to develop grit, they must endeavor to partake in an exercise in which they have interest, can practice, have passion, and hope of doing well.The singular idea of 'grit' is an interesting one to inspect, but this book ends up feeling like more of a pop psychology exercise in self reflection than anything truly profound. She's clearly very wise on her research, but if you are looking for something that is actionable and likely to cause you to change your behaviors, look elsewhere.
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  • Diane
    January 1, 1970
    What a fascinating book! I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this research on how important effort and perseverance is in being successful. Duckworth calls this grit, and has tests for measuring how gritty a person is in his or her projects. Her findings are that "natural talent" is helpful, of course, but effort matters more.I've heard about grit research in relation to education, and how grittier students tend to do better in school. But grit applies to more than just getting good grades or What a fascinating book! I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this research on how important effort and perseverance is in being successful. Duckworth calls this grit, and has tests for measuring how gritty a person is in his or her projects. Her findings are that "natural talent" is helpful, of course, but effort matters more.I've heard about grit research in relation to education, and how grittier students tend to do better in school. But grit applies to more than just getting good grades or how many degrees you can earn -- you can think about it in terms of whatever hobby or career you are passionate about. Duckworth also talks about gritty people feeling as if they have a core mission or purpose to their life, and I was inspired by this chapter to write my own mission, and it's positively affected how I think about my work. I highly recommend this book to those interested in education, psychology or personal growth.Favorite Quote"You can grow your grit 'from the inside out': You can cultivate your interests. You can develop a habit of daily challenge-exceeding-skill practice. You can connect your work to a purpose beyond yourself. And you can learn to hope when all seems lost. You can also grow your grit 'from the outside in.' Parents, coaches, teachers, bosses, mentors, friends -- developing your personal grit depends critically on other people."
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  • Jason
    January 1, 1970
    This book may be the first to employ the humblebrag as a rhetorical device. Roughly: "My dad always told me I was no genius. Then I won a MacArthur Fellowship 'Genius Grant' on my research showing that hard work is more crucial to success than genius." It's a little boastful, as are the author's numerous references to her Ivy League education and her consultant work with McKinsey (who apparently only hire based on intellect) and, most of all, her namedropping, but it all works well in supporting This book may be the first to employ the humblebrag as a rhetorical device. Roughly: "My dad always told me I was no genius. Then I won a MacArthur Fellowship 'Genius Grant' on my research showing that hard work is more crucial to success than genius." It's a little boastful, as are the author's numerous references to her Ivy League education and her consultant work with McKinsey (who apparently only hire based on intellect) and, most of all, her namedropping, but it all works well in supporting her larger claims that talent is overrated, that fixed mindsets often result in complacency and/or learned helplessness, and that grit is something that can be acquired at any time by virtually anybody.In the process of developing these claims, Duckworth looks at grit-based success in the military, sports, the country of Finland, and, most of all, in the classroom. The best section of the book looks at graduation commencement speech tropes that encourage young people to "do what [they] love" rather than acknowledging that finding what one loves can be a long process. Her approach is anecdotal much like Malcolm Gladwell's in his various mononymous pop psychology works, and the results are similarly enjoyable. There's also useful advice for teachers and parents on how to encourage grit and growth mindsets in children although it does occasionally veer uncomfortably close to Tiger Mom authoritarianism (Note: I'm not referencing Duckworth's Chinese lineage here; she herself invokes Amy Chua at one point in the book). I do have one gripe with methodology, but I'll allow that this is likely addressed in Duckworth's more academic publications (I'm a lowly state university educated plebeian, after all). In summarizing her findings that predictions of academic success based on talent are less reliable than her own grit scale, she repeatedly uses high school grades and SAT scores to quantify talent, which again is less important to success than resilience and passion. I get it, but I'm not sure that grades and scores aren't themselves potentially measurements of grit rather than talent. Certainly, many people achieve high SAT and ACT scores and great GPAs after working hard, taking practice tests, meeting with private tutors, etc. There's nothing here explaining how this is reconciled, which to me leaves a bit of hole, but it doesn't diminish what is otherwise an informative and enjoyable book.
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  • Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    Disappointed to read this in the acknowledgments:"First and foremost, I want to thank my collaborators. I wrote this book in the first-person singular, using "I" when, in fact, pretty much everything I've done as a researcher or writer was accomplished by a plurality. The "we" who deserve credit -- in particular coauthors on published research -- are named individually in Notes. On their behalf, I extend a heartfelt thanks to our research teams who, collectively, made this research possible."Wow Disappointed to read this in the acknowledgments:"First and foremost, I want to thank my collaborators. I wrote this book in the first-person singular, using "I" when, in fact, pretty much everything I've done as a researcher or writer was accomplished by a plurality. The "we" who deserve credit -- in particular coauthors on published research -- are named individually in Notes. On their behalf, I extend a heartfelt thanks to our research teams who, collectively, made this research possible."Wow, way to bury the gratitude and acknowledgment of people who are your research coauthors!Also, looks like there are several challenges to the importance/influence of Grit. See this NPR story: http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/0...According to that story, Duckworth is thinking about revising her "grit scale," specifically the questions around passion.
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  • Acordul Fin
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not giving this such a high rating because I'm totally sold on the premise or her research. Her theory has been challenged by other studies with equally intriguing findings which suggest that grit is not a trait that can be easily influenced because it's mostly determined by genetics while Duckworth claims that it's something that can be learned and trained. They also suggest there are so many more factors that influence someone's success while she chose to focus on this one specifically. He I'm not giving this such a high rating because I'm totally sold on the premise or her research. Her theory has been challenged by other studies with equally intriguing findings which suggest that grit is not a trait that can be easily influenced because it's mostly determined by genetics while Duckworth claims that it's something that can be learned and trained. They also suggest there are so many more factors that influence someone's success while she chose to focus on this one specifically. Her book is heavy with anecdotal evidence from successful people from the US, which is a first world country offering privileges some people can only dream of, so you could say her samples are pretty skewed because the people she mentions already have a head start even people that were initially underprivileged simply because they later have access to opportunities which in other places are basically nonexistent. However, I did find value in this book, I do feel more inspired and hopeful. It might be a placebo, but they have been shown to work, so at the end of the day, it doesn't matter that much to me. Having grown-up in an environment that placed so much emphasis on natural intelligence and talents, I was taught to always stick to what I'm immediately good at, avoid failure at all costs (because failure is something inherently bad) and other elements of a closed mindset. Based on my experience and that of the people around me, I realized this kind of thinking was detrimental to our development and throughout the years I've learned that people are so much more adaptable and can achieve so much more when they simply try harder and they believe they can make it, which is the opposite of what I've been taught to believe. Ironically, the easiest way to fail is to simply not try because you fear failure. I don't necessarily think that grit the is main/only reason behind someone's success (what I mean by success is the achievement of one's personal goals whatever these may be, I'm not talking about the standard version of success: money and fame) but I do think it helps a lot. It feels that it should be common sense that applying grit (a combination of passion and perseverance) can only bring someone a step closer to what to what they want to accomplish. And even if it turns out to be true, that grit is mostly determined by genes, how could it hurt to try improving it, even if just by a little. Life can be unpredictable, messy, unfair but to give up on improving as a person and improving the quality of your life just because you were handed a certain genetic makeup is just adding to the unfairness of it all. I wish I'd learned this earlier.
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  • H.A. Leuschel
    January 1, 1970
    What an inspiring and very well written book! Human beings love magic, the idea of a gift, natural talent and to be swept off their feet by a stunning piece of music or witnessing a person doing something no one has ever managed to do before. We like to believe that there is an innate natural gift that allows some people to stand out of the crowd. Yet, the author of this book suggests that she 'is yet to meet a Nobel laureate or Olympic champion who says that what they achieved came in any other What an inspiring and very well written book! Human beings love magic, the idea of a gift, natural talent and to be swept off their feet by a stunning piece of music or witnessing a person doing something no one has ever managed to do before. We like to believe that there is an innate natural gift that allows some people to stand out of the crowd. Yet, the author of this book suggests that she 'is yet to meet a Nobel laureate or Olympic champion who says that what they achieved came in any other way' ... than with being 'especially gritty'. Using a plethora of fascinating case studies, she concludes that 'as much as talent counts, effort counts twice'. This tells me that encouraging children and adults to be gritty, to follow their passion while embracing the fact that 'to be gritty is to fall down seven times and rise eight' is far more important than overemphasizing talent. Furthermore, perseverance is very much part of the path to reach a goal. She does not deny that natural talents exist but that at the end of the day, the aim is not to be the next Mozart, Dickens or Usain Bolt but rather to learn to put significant effort in what you like so that you reach your personal potential which is so much richer and wider than most of us believe.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Saying, "I really wanted to like this book" would be an understatement. I started it expecting a 5-star read. I agreed with the premise and was eager to learn more. However, this book fell short for me. The first half read too much like a self-help book. "Be gritty! You'll be successful!" The second half had more of the academic analysis I craved but it still lacked the depth I was looking for. This might be a good intro for the importance of work ethic, follow through, and an internal locus of Saying, "I really wanted to like this book" would be an understatement. I started it expecting a 5-star read. I agreed with the premise and was eager to learn more. However, this book fell short for me. The first half read too much like a self-help book. "Be gritty! You'll be successful!" The second half had more of the academic analysis I craved but it still lacked the depth I was looking for. This might be a good intro for the importance of work ethic, follow through, and an internal locus of control, but it didn't expand beyond what I already knew. It added new stories and studies to my understanding but I still would have liked more. I saw one review critique this book for focusing rather narrowly on American success stories, a culture and environment that differs greatly from many parts of the world. After all, we call it "the American dream." I'd like to see this analyzed more. Does "grit" fit success in China or India or Ethiopia? Can you use grit to measure societies where people are struggling for clean drinking water or surviving civil war? What needs to be in place alongside grit for people to succeed? Opportunity? A free market? Something else? I'm genuinely curious about the broader, philosophical underpinnings of a society that fosters grit. Duckworth spends a long portion of the second half discussing how you can develop gritty kids. She focuses on the importance of extracurricular activities. She briefly references the gap in grit for students depending on their socioeconomic status. I would have liked more analysis of this because it was something I was struggling with throughout the entire discussion. It is one thing to tell parents to enroll their kids in ballet and soccer and piano, but all those things cost money. Unless you have two parents with full-time jobs and only one or two kids, affording the sort of extra-curricular activities she references is nearly impossible. These two areas are just examples of a broader analysis I want to see - how much is Duckworth's study of "grit" limited to a certain entitled, well-to-do section of modern American society? Is this study practical or necessary outside of a white-collar bubble? At any other point in history, would this emphasis on developing follow through seem ridiculous to people trying to make enough to survive? I do like the brief discussion on the importance of culture and gritty environments in sports and businesses. I would have liked more focus on this as well.This is a good book, but it is too general. I would like to see more details about the practicality of grit outside of the NFL and Ivy League schools. Is this useful outside of building up an otherwise entitled generation of American kids or helping business people “be gritty! Be successful!”?
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    "As much as talent counts, effort counts twice."Professor and MacArthur Award winner Angela Duckworth has entered the "talent vs. effort" discussion with years of research showing that dedicated effort -- what she calls "grit"-- is far more important to success than any innate talent. While some agree (see books such as Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, and Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why, among others) critics have both questione "As much as talent counts, effort counts twice."Professor and MacArthur Award winner Angela Duckworth has entered the "talent vs. effort" discussion with years of research showing that dedicated effort -- what she calls "grit"-- is far more important to success than any innate talent. While some agree (see books such as Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, and Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why, among others) critics have both questioned her research or dismissed it as nothing more than the sage old advice that's been around for ages: "Work hard and never give up."I found this book to be very engaging and inspiring, not only for my own aspirations but also in thinking about the values and skills I hope to instill in my children. Duckworth explains her research in easy-to-understand terms, and gives plenty of real world anecdotes and examples. While I find myself more in the camp that thinks that this research is likely just the next step of the age-old "work hard" advice, for me this book still served as a motivating rallying call to keep pushing on to reach my personal and professional goals. Thank you to NetGalley and Scriber for a galley of this book in exchange for an honest review. Note: while I was provided a galley I chose to listen to the audio version of the book, which was excellent.
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  • Ana Marlatt
    January 1, 1970
    For the many critics of Duckworth and her theory of Grit, I say: read this book. You will not find anywhere here that Grit is about "sucking it up and getting it done". Angela Duckworth writes: "This book has been my way of taking you out for a coffee and telling you what I know." To me, this coffee date pacified off and will be repeated a few times. This book is filled with the science of Grit (Duckworth is a scientist after all), as well as countless stories about Grit. The stories stick. I wi For the many critics of Duckworth and her theory of Grit, I say: read this book. You will not find anywhere here that Grit is about "sucking it up and getting it done". Angela Duckworth writes: "This book has been my way of taking you out for a coffee and telling you what I know." To me, this coffee date pacified off and will be repeated a few times. This book is filled with the science of Grit (Duckworth is a scientist after all), as well as countless stories about Grit. The stories stick. I will have to read the book again to internalize the science of it all. I suggest you start the book with the conclusion. It gives readers a great outline of what the book is about, without giving it all away. In the conclusion you will also find this gem: "To be gritty is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To be gritty is to hold fast to an interesting and purposeful goal. To be gritty is to invest, day after week after year, in challenging practice. To be gritty is to fall down seven times, and rise eight." Inspiring stuff, but definitely easier said than done. If you inspire more grit in your life, this book is a good way to find focus, inspiration and guidance.
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  • Rebecca Renner
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this so much more than I thought I would! It's a must-read for teachers and writers. Actually, I would recommend it to anyone who is working toward a big goal, especially if they've experienced some setbacks.
  • David Yoon
    January 1, 1970
    A fascinating exploration of Grit. There’s even a Grit questionnaire to assess how gritty you are. I’m moderately gritty BTW - happily mediocre. I’m aware I could be grittier and resolve to do so, but then I’ve already moved on to the next book. I like the idea though. It seems like a hearty admonishment of work and stick-to-it-ness that appeals to my Asian upbringing - Duckworth herself is raised by Chinese immigrants. It’s resonated far more than the conversing with your creativity ala Elizabe A fascinating exploration of Grit. There’s even a Grit questionnaire to assess how gritty you are. I’m moderately gritty BTW - happily mediocre. I’m aware I could be grittier and resolve to do so, but then I’ve already moved on to the next book. I like the idea though. It seems like a hearty admonishment of work and stick-to-it-ness that appeals to my Asian upbringing - Duckworth herself is raised by Chinese immigrants. It’s resonated far more than the conversing with your creativity ala Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic or Brené Brown’s focus on shame and our own imperfections. And like all the best pop-psych books there’s lots of anecdotes from folks at the top of their game. Truly gritty paragons. And it’s reassuring for those of us lacking natural talents or long past the age to ever be considered a prodigy of anything. That through focused effort and perseverance we can excel. An extension of Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours. Perseverance and passion - perhaps distilled down to this it’s nothing new but nonetheless an engrossing read that got me thinking of where I could be grittier and how to raise grittier kids.
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  • Rayhan
    January 1, 1970
    Trivial and littered with shameless self-promotion and self-adulation. Duckworth isn't so much a grit paragon as she is a paragon of privilege. There are painful moments where she pays lip-service to socioeconomic and racial diversity issues that clearly interfere with her measurements of 'grit', as she narrowly defines it. People may find her book and research inspiring because it draws you away from fixating on talent as the key determinant of success. However, both her analysis of success and Trivial and littered with shameless self-promotion and self-adulation. Duckworth isn't so much a grit paragon as she is a paragon of privilege. There are painful moments where she pays lip-service to socioeconomic and racial diversity issues that clearly interfere with her measurements of 'grit', as she narrowly defines it. People may find her book and research inspiring because it draws you away from fixating on talent as the key determinant of success. However, both her analysis of success and prescription to be grittier is incomplete. Grit can manifest in many ways that do not show up in neither occupational achievement, or her favored measurements of it. I would hazard to guess that a large portion of the population must be necessarily gritty in order just to survive. For the privileged (likely most of her readership), her research could make sense, but for many others, her recommendations will come across as disingenuous.
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  • Antonia
    January 1, 1970
    Thomas Edison said that success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. And remember Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule? Angela Duckworth this calls stick-to-it-iveness “grit.” (I’m not too keen on the word, itself.) Her method of reaching more or less the same conclusion involves more science and even a couple of equations: Talent + Effort = Skill AND Skill + Effort = Achievement. Maybe to some, her conclusions don’t seem terribly new. Didn’t we already know this? But Duckworth is a highly re Thomas Edison said that success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. And remember Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule? Angela Duckworth this calls stick-to-it-iveness “grit.” (I’m not too keen on the word, itself.) Her method of reaching more or less the same conclusion involves more science and even a couple of equations: Talent + Effort = Skill AND Skill + Effort = Achievement. Maybe to some, her conclusions don’t seem terribly new. Didn’t we already know this? But Duckworth is a highly regarded researcher and she provides a wealth of evidence (from her own research and that of others) to support her hypotheses. She provides a lot of ways to think about identifying life goals and how to achieve them. And she explores the fact that some of us are able to persevere in the face of adversity, while others with the same talent and same goals, just don’t. The book contains both research findings and interesting anecdotes about successful people. The content is solid and I suspect the audiobook is even better than the read. Duckworth reads it, herself, and I really liked her style and pacing. And, by the way, Duckworth is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant.” Her research is more complex and nuanced than my summary (or even her book) might suggest and has many implications for teaching and learning. I’m getting to the end of my working years, so I’m probably not part of the target audience for this book. But it nevertheless gave me some ideas for how to apply Duckworth’s findings to other aspects of my life. The book contains a lot of good advice for parents, too.
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  • Elizabeth☮
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the lessons in this book. If you haven't seen Duckworth's ted talk, find it now. This is pretty straight forward: you need grit to be successful. It is a bit more nuanced and Duckworth interviews various people in various professions that have all become successful because they have grit. This is like the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking in that it teaches you a different way of guiding your own life, your kids' lives and, if you teach, your students I loved the lessons in this book. If you haven't seen Duckworth's ted talk, find it now. This is pretty straight forward: you need grit to be successful. It is a bit more nuanced and Duckworth interviews various people in various professions that have all become successful because they have grit. This is like the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking in that it teaches you a different way of guiding your own life, your kids' lives and, if you teach, your students' lives. I am eager to see if she follows this up.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this approach to GRIT. This is nonfiction and when I counted how many discs this was for the audio, I thought it was going to feel so, so long...but it didn't. I found this fascinating. I'm not familiar with the author or her work, but I thought this was eloquently written. She covered all her points and didn't get all technical, but considered the regular people who wold probably read this. This is a book that I think I may need to read again, because there was so much info and a lot of I liked this approach to GRIT. This is nonfiction and when I counted how many discs this was for the audio, I thought it was going to feel so, so long...but it didn't. I found this fascinating. I'm not familiar with the author or her work, but I thought this was eloquently written. She covered all her points and didn't get all technical, but considered the regular people who wold probably read this. This is a book that I think I may need to read again, because there was so much info and a lot of it was useful.
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  • Huyen Le
    January 1, 1970
    Takeaway message: find your passion and work hard. The title already told everything. It's a good book but the idea is not so new, even though it concerns about a fairly new concept named grit. Nonetheless, it's a good book esp. for those who haven't read a lot of psychology books before, and parents.
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  • Constance
    January 1, 1970
    I am interested generally in the idea of “grit.” It’s hard sometimes to not be discouraged, to have resilience and to get up and keep going after setbacks, and I’m interested in how to develop that trait.To that end, this book skims over some relevant ideas. Apparently everything might come down to your overall worldview, or, as I read it, your humanism and compassion. The author talks about a “fixed mindset” vs. a “growth mindset”: whether you believe that people are born a certain way and have I am interested generally in the idea of “grit.” It’s hard sometimes to not be discouraged, to have resilience and to get up and keep going after setbacks, and I’m interested in how to develop that trait.To that end, this book skims over some relevant ideas. Apparently everything might come down to your overall worldview, or, as I read it, your humanism and compassion. The author talks about a “fixed mindset” vs. a “growth mindset”: whether you believe that people are born a certain way and have an innate capacity for skills/talents/intelligence, or whether you believe that people can change, based on their effort or opportunities or support. This general belief often translates to how you see challenges in your personal life: whether you pessimistically believe that there are permanent and pervasive reasons for your suffering, or whether you optimistically believe that there are temporary and specific reasons for your suffering. (This is also where mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy can be helpful.) It’s also important to have people around you to encourage you and support you and believe that you can do it. All of this then adds up to your capacity for perseverance and resilience. tl;dr: It’s important to believe in change and have hope.All of that kind of gels, but was really a small part of the book. Overall, the writing was overly punchy and mostly empty filler, which become tiresome. I was most disappointed that the book focused so much on career. I’m really tired of all these articles and books about pursuing your “passion” in your job. These pieces use people like Warren Buffet or Jeff Bezos as examples, without mentioning that (1) these people are arguably geniuses in their fields who were laser-fixated on their particular interests from childhood, something that is very rare, and (2) most people don’t want to spend every waking minute thinking about their work at the expense of family, or friends, or leisure time, etc. (N.B. I just watched the Warren Buffet documentary on HBO and I’m not sure that he doesn’t regret not developing his personal/familial relationships more throughout the course of his career.) I don’t think it’s important or realistic to instruct people to find a “passion”; I particularly don’t think it’s important or realistic to instruct people to find a “purpose.” And I don’t believe that either is a recipe for happiness. It all seems kind of backwards. If you have the privilege to choose what you do, I think it’s important to find a monetize-able skill that you generally like and want to be better at, and then to choose a workplace with a structure and environment that suits you where you can use that skill. “Passion” is then something that develops only after you begin to excel in your work, once you can add value and feel competent and confident. You can also feel "passion" not only in your job, but also in anything else you choose to do, so people don't only have to have one "passion" they are pursuing as a career. I have more to say about this but won’t ramble any more on goodreads about it.Anyhow, by focusing so much on career, the book kind of lost its way, and missed a good opportunity to talk deeply about “grit” in general in life, to talk about how this is impacted by socioeconomics/culture/race, to talk about social support or the lack thereof and how we as a society can work to change it, and, ultimately, to really help people move forward from difficult times, even if they don't have the people or environment to help them do so.
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  • Kristin Butler
    January 1, 1970
    I guess if you really have something to prove you might be interested in reading this book. I found it a snoozer and I felt a little sorry for the author who appears to be obsessed with the topic of achievement. Perhaps I'm too much of a slacker to appreciate the power of " grit", but I think my real issue is tethering grit to " success", because I'm not sure I agree with the author's definition of success. I had the same problem with Gladwell's Outliers as all his case studies were cherry picke I guess if you really have something to prove you might be interested in reading this book. I found it a snoozer and I felt a little sorry for the author who appears to be obsessed with the topic of achievement. Perhaps I'm too much of a slacker to appreciate the power of " grit", but I think my real issue is tethering grit to " success", because I'm not sure I agree with the author's definition of success. I had the same problem with Gladwell's Outliers as all his case studies were cherry picked to illustrate examples of "success" filtered through his own perception of what that should be. The yogi in me completely disagrees with Grit at all costs and I daily see the physical price paid by those who adhere to inflexible goals. And the Tiger Mom in me conversely says " so what?" Of course I want my kids to pursue extracurricular activities and have a work ethic! Not sure I learned anything here I didn't already know.
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  • Mari Ver
    January 1, 1970
    This book did not live up to high expectations that I had after watching the author's clips and presentations on TedTalk. I would like to say that it is a material for a good discussion with teenagers, but, sadly, they would need to have developed a lot of grit of their own in order to read through it.
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  • James Park
    January 1, 1970
    The book was just really tough to get through. Not because it's hard to understand or anythingggg but it fell flat on so many pages. It didn't really get me thinking deep and most of the ideas she presented seemed meh. You legit need grit to get through the book. All respect to her tho.
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  • Stephanie *Very Stable Genius*
    January 1, 1970
    As turns out, I'm pretty gritty. Who knew?
  • Sophie
    January 1, 1970
    The writer comes across as self-righteous and talks too much about sport. However, I thought it worth reading for chapter 6 on "Interest" - her comments on following your passion are quite nuanced.
  • Josh
    January 1, 1970
    Grit by Angela Duckworth is a book with broad ambitions to cover the topic of grit: what it is, who has it and how to get it. Grit shares a common heritage with many other growth mindset books such as The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal. Growth mindset books lie at the vertex of Eastern and Western philosophy; do my actions dictate my fate or are we all just subject to the inertia of the universe? Duckworth asserts the value of grit through its utility to provide a tangible benefit, namely s Grit by Angela Duckworth is a book with broad ambitions to cover the topic of grit: what it is, who has it and how to get it. Grit shares a common heritage with many other growth mindset books such as The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal. Growth mindset books lie at the vertex of Eastern and Western philosophy; do my actions dictate my fate or are we all just subject to the inertia of the universe? Duckworth asserts the value of grit through its utility to provide a tangible benefit, namely success. The author spends a large portion of the book viewing grit through the eyepiece of success, parading out case study after case study of people who are successful because, they were gritty, I guess. The major problem with this approach is that very quickly you subject yourself to survivorship bias. By only looking at successful people and ex post facto defining them as gritty, does not form a causal link between the two. The elephant in the room is this: given identical genetics, psychological makeup and circumstances, does grit make the difference in achieving success? A second problem I had with this book is the use of Professional Football Coach, Pete Carroll as a paradigm of grit. While unquestionably a fierce competitor, Carroll's collegiate coaching career is littered with a number of major cheating scandals, surely the diametric opposite of grit, that go unmentioned by Duckworth. All this being said, grit, and more generally growth mindset, are important tools, not a panacea, toward reaching achievement in all of the spheres of your life. Grit contains an important message; however, it suffers as a book by masquerading as a result of scientific inquiry.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I've been on a self-improvement reading kick lately, really for the first time in my life. I've discovered, to my surprise, that most of the books are backed-up by studies, which are in themselves fascinating and quite helpful. This book I was less impressed with, because despite the interesting studies and papers it discusses, the "advice" portion was all circular reasoning and remarkably unhelpful: "How do you get grit? Don't give up!" That's like, "How do you find your way to the grocery stor I've been on a self-improvement reading kick lately, really for the first time in my life. I've discovered, to my surprise, that most of the books are backed-up by studies, which are in themselves fascinating and quite helpful. This book I was less impressed with, because despite the interesting studies and papers it discusses, the "advice" portion was all circular reasoning and remarkably unhelpful: "How do you get grit? Don't give up!" That's like, "How do you find your way to the grocery store? Drive there!" Perhaps the point is you have to just bumble forth without directions and a jolly willingness to get lost. Still, I found this book less helpful than I anticipated, especially given the stratospheric reviews.
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  • Stephen Heiner
    January 1, 1970
    Angela was making the podcast circuit early last year when her book came out and I liked what I heard enough to add it to my queue. Recently got into it as part of a series of "passion-work-calling" books and was not disappointed. Like others in her genre (think Cal Newport/Daniel Pink) she's got a lot of research and science to share. Unlike those two authors, she's weaving the narrative of her own parenting within this story of what grit is and why it matters.Grit = Passion + PerseveranceThis Angela was making the podcast circuit early last year when her book came out and I liked what I heard enough to add it to my queue. Recently got into it as part of a series of "passion-work-calling" books and was not disappointed. Like others in her genre (think Cal Newport/Daniel Pink) she's got a lot of research and science to share. Unlike those two authors, she's weaving the narrative of her own parenting within this story of what grit is and why it matters.Grit = Passion + PerseveranceThis book is an excellent complement to So Good They Can't Ignore You by Cal Newport, as it continues to beat the drum that you will not "know" your passion instinctively, and that you may have to pursue several simultaneous roads until a winner emerges.Here is another set of equations that really resonated with me, and first appears on p. 42talent X effort = skillskill X effort = achievementSo effort builds skill, but it also makes skills productive.Just as Cal Newport discusses, the maintenance of passion is far more important than the discovery of it:"Fireworks erupt in a blaze of glory and then quickly fizzle, leaving just wisps of smoke and a memory of what was once spectacular. What Jeff's journey suggests instead is passion as a compass - that thing that takes you some time to build, tinker with, and finally get right, and then that guides you on your long and winding road to where, ultimately, you want to be." (p. 60)On p. 169 she shares a gem of an old Japanese saying, "Fall seven, rise eight."The book covers a lot of ground, and deals with the way we work using case studies, research, and intelligent writing. She has something to say to mentors/parents as well as those still finding their way. And her message is ultimately hopeful: grit isn't gifted, it's earned, so it's available to everyone.
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  • Elaine Howlin
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastic.
  • Nadin Adel
    January 1, 1970
    Few years ago, I watched the TedTalk by Angela Duckworth talking about grit. It seemed to me the ver first time to come across such terminology. Furthermore, it gave me hope and power to a better future. The talk is tremendous and energetic. Firmly knowing that the talker issued a whole new book about grit seemed to be the compass back to my intended pathway to success. However, the book was nothing like the talk. It is full of scientific details and researches that will flip your mind. Arriving Few years ago, I watched the TedTalk by Angela Duckworth talking about grit. It seemed to me the ver first time to come across such terminology. Furthermore, it gave me hope and power to a better future. The talk is tremendous and energetic. Firmly knowing that the talker issued a whole new book about grit seemed to be the compass back to my intended pathway to success. However, the book was nothing like the talk. It is full of scientific details and researches that will flip your mind. Arriving by the end of the book with nothing in hand. Nothing to be like the TedTalk she once conducted.I believe the studies made for this book is much worthy to be adapted through this writing and in such context. Unfortunately, the book was dull and boring to a very high extent I could've never thought of while watching the talk.Watch the Ted talk
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  • Jennifer Maloney
    January 1, 1970
    When she was a child, Ms. Duckworth’s father reminded her regularly that she was no genius. She proved him wrong, winning a MacArthur “genius” grant, ironically, for research showing that success comes not just from innate talent but from perseverance. It’s what she calls “grit.” Her talk at a TED conference has been viewed nearly eight million times. Among the “gritty” role-models she interviews: quarterback Steve Young, Focus Brands President Kat Cole and J.P. Morgan Chase chief James Dimon.ht When she was a child, Ms. Duckworth’s father reminded her regularly that she was no genius. She proved him wrong, winning a MacArthur “genius” grant, ironically, for research showing that success comes not just from innate talent but from perseverance. It’s what she calls “grit.” Her talk at a TED conference has been viewed nearly eight million times. Among the “gritty” role-models she interviews: quarterback Steve Young, Focus Brands President Kat Cole and J.P. Morgan Chase chief James Dimon.http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-hotte...
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