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Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance – by Angela Duckworth

In her bestselling book, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,” Angela Duckworth explores the secret to exceptional achievement. Contrary to popular belief, Duckworth argues that it’s not innate talent that sets high achievers apart, but rather a unique combination of passion and persistence she refers to as “grit.” Drawing from her own experiences as a celebrated researcher and professor, Duckworth takes readers on a journey through the lives of individuals who embody this remarkable quality. From struggling cadets at West Point to teachers in challenging schools, Duckworth provides fascinating insights and practical advice for cultivating grit in ourselves and others. With her inspiring and thought-provoking perspective, Duckworth challenges conventional notions about success and offers a fresh and empowering perspective for anyone striving to achieve their goals.

About the Book

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance - by Angela Duckworth

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In Angela Duckworth’s book “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,” she delves into the concept of grit and its role in achieving success. Duckworth argues that talent alone is not enough to achieve outstanding accomplishments, but rather a combination of passion and perseverance is the key. In her book, she shares stories and insights from various fields such as education, sports, and history to support her hypothesis. Duckworth also discusses the learnability of grit and provides practical advice on how to apply it in everyday life.

Author: Angela Duckworth

Angela Duckworth, the author of “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,” is a celebrated researcher and professor. Her personal experiences in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience led her to develop the concept of grit. Through her research and observations, Duckworth has become an influential figure in the field of psychology and motivation.

Publication Details

“Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” was published by Scribner Book Company in May 2017. This quality paperback book has a total of 320 pages and is also available in an unabridged-CD format. It falls under the genre of self-help and personal growth. The retail price of the book is $18.99.

Introduction to Grit

Defining Grit

Grit, as defined by Angela Duckworth, is the combination of passion and perseverance towards a long-term goal. It involves having a clear sense of purpose and working diligently to overcome challenges and setbacks. Grit is not solely dependent on talent or intelligence but is a mindset and quality that can be developed through effort and practice.

Grit as a Key to Success

According to Duckworth, grit is a crucial factor in achieving success. While talent and intelligence may offer an initial advantage, it is the determination and resilience of individuals with grit that enables them to ultimately reach their goals. Grit allows individuals to navigate obstacles, maintain focus, and continue striving even in the face of adversity.

Duckworth’s Hypothesis

Duckworth’s hypothesis is that grit can be learned and cultivated, regardless of one’s IQ or circumstances. She believes that personal characteristics such as passion, perseverance, and resilience can be developed through deliberate practice and mindset shifts. Duckworth’s research and observations support the idea that grit is not fixed but can be nurtured and grown.

Grit in Action

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance - by Angela Duckworth

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Cadets at West Point

Duckworth takes readers into the field by sharing stories of cadets at West Point Military Academy. These cadets undergo rigorous training and face numerous challenges as they strive to become future leaders in the military. Through their experiences, Duckworth highlights the importance of grit in overcoming the demands of military life and excelling in their roles.

Teachers in Tough Schools

Duckworth also explores the role of grit among teachers working in challenging school environments. These teachers face various obstacles, including limited resources, difficult students, and societal pressures. Despite these challenges, those with grit are able to maintain their passion for teaching and persevere in making a positive impact on their students’ lives.

National Spelling Bee Finalists

The stories of young finalists in the National Spelling Bee showcase the power of grit in the pursuit of excellence. These students spend countless hours studying and practicing spelling to reach the pinnacle of their craft. Through their dedication and perseverance, they demonstrate the resilience and determination required to achieve outstanding accomplishments.

Insights from History

Grit in Historical Figures

Duckworth explores the lives of historical figures to uncover the presence of grit in their journeys towards success. By examining the experiences of individuals such as Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, and Helen Keller, Duckworth illustrates how their unwavering passion and perseverance allowed them to overcome significant challenges and leave a lasting impact on the world.

Lessons from Historical Examples

Drawing from historical examples, Duckworth extracts valuable lessons about the importance of grit. These lessons include the significance of maintaining focus and determination even in the face of repeated failures, the need for adaptability and resilience when confronted with setbacks, and the understanding that success often requires long-term commitment and effort.

Lessons from Modern Experiments

Peak Performance Experiments

Duckworth discusses modern experiments conducted to understand the conditions that lead to peak performance. Through these experiments, researchers explore the impact of deliberate practice, motivation, and mindset on achieving exceptional results. By dissecting these experiments, Duckworth identifies patterns and strategies that individuals can apply to cultivate their own grit and optimize their performance.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance - by Angela Duckworth

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Gleaning Insights from Modern Studies

Building upon contemporary studies, Duckworth provides insights into the development of grit. She examines the psychological factors that contribute to the growth of grit, including self-regulation, goal-setting, and the influence of one’s environment. Through scientific research, Duckworth aims to not only understand the concept of grit but also provide practical techniques for individuals to enhance their own grittiness.

Interviews with High Achievers

Jamie Dimon: CEO of JP Morgan

Duckworth shares her interviews with high achievers, including Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan. Through her conversation with Dimon, she explores the role of grit in leadership and the challenges faced by individuals at the pinnacle of their careers. Dimon’s insights shed light on the importance of perseverance, adaptability, and resilience in achieving long-term success.

Bob Mankoff: New Yorker Cartoon Editor

Another high achiever interviewed by Duckworth is Bob Mankoff, the New Yorker cartoon editor. Mankoff’s experiences and reflections provide valuable lessons on creativity and the pursuit of excellence. By delving into Mankoff’s journey, Duckworth uncovers the role that grit plays in sustaining a creative mindset and consistently producing high-quality work.

Pete Carroll: Seattle Seahawks Coach

Duckworth’s interview with Pete Carroll, the coach of the Seattle Seahawks, offers insights into the world of sports and the influence of grit on athletic achievements. Carroll’s coaching philosophy highlights the significance of passion, perseverance, and teamwork in achieving extraordinary results. Through this interview, Duckworth showcases how grit can be cultivated within a team environment.

The Value of Effort

Effort Counts Twice

Duckworth emphasizes the importance of effort by stating that it counts twice towards achieving goals. While talent and intelligence may provide a head start, it is the sustained effort and deliberate practice that propel individuals towards success. Duckworth’s research supports the idea that consistent and purposeful effort is a significant factor in distinguishing high achievers.

Grit as a Learnable Skill

A key insight presented by Duckworth is that grit is a learnable skill. Regardless of one’s IQ or circumstances, individuals can develop and enhance their grittiness through deliberate practice and mindset changes. Duckworth provides practical strategies and techniques for cultivating grit in everyday life, empowering readers to embrace the value of effort and persevere towards their goals.

Grit and Intelligence

Grit vs Talent

Duckworth explores the relationship between grit and talent, presenting evidence that suggests grit is a more reliable predictor of success than raw talent alone. While talent provides a potential advantage, it is grit that allows individuals to capitalize on their talents and transform them into achievements. Grit enables individuals to persist in the face of challenges, setbacks, and even initial failures.

Grit and IQ

Duckworth examines the relationship between grit and IQ, challenging the notion that intelligence is the primary determinant of success. Through her research, Duckworth has found that individuals with high levels of grit are often able to outperform those with higher IQ levels but less resilience and perseverance. It is grit, rather than IQ, that consistently contributes to long-term success.

Warm Embrace vs High Standards

Impact of Parenting Style

Duckworth explores the impact of parenting style on the development of grit in children. She discusses the contrasting approaches of a warm embrace, which focuses on nurturing and support, and high standards, which emphasize challenging expectations. Duckworth’s research suggests that a balance of both approaches is necessary for fostering the growth of grit in children, empowering them to develop resilience and persist in the face of challenges.

Finding the Right Balance

While a warm embrace and high standards play important roles in the development of grit, Duckworth suggests that finding the right balance is crucial. Overly protective parenting may hinder the development of grit, while excessively demanding parenting may lead to burnout or disengagement. By finding the sweet spot between support and challenge, parents can create an environment that cultivates grit and allows children to thrive.


The Power of Grit

In conclusion, Angela Duckworth’s book “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” highlights the transformative potential of grit in achieving outstanding accomplishments. By sharing stories, insights from history, modern experiments, and interviews with high achievers, Duckworth demonstrates the importance of passion, perseverance, and resilience in the pursuit of success. Furthermore, Duckworth emphasizes that grit is a learnable skill and provides practical guidance for individuals to cultivate grit in their everyday lives.

Applying Grit in Everyday Life

Duckworth encourages readers to apply the principles of grit in their own lives. By setting goals, embracing challenges, maintaining focus, and persisting in the face of obstacles, individuals can harness the power of grit to achieve their aspirations. Duckworth’s book serves as a guide, inspiring readers to develop their passion and perseverance and make grit an integral part of their personal and professional journey.