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I have been studying ways to improve myself and my kids for almost a decade. I've read and listened to many books that talked about grit. And I searched many times for "Angela Duckworth and grit". Well, what a beautiful surprise to find this excellent book and to listen to it twice already, in the month of its release. Angela Duckworth is the main scientist that studies GRIT. And in this book she delivers all her knowledge in a very profound yet comprehensive way.
But, instead of writing only about grit and her researches, she goes beyond and talks about play, deliberate practice, flow and many other important topics of the psychology of success.
I will try to highlight the message, but I recommend you to read the book at least once.
Grit is a consistency of effort and practice. A gritty person have the attitude of never giving up, have an obsession and go for it, try to be the best in the world and always search for ways to improve; A gritty person has passion and perseverance.
Having grit is better than having talent (but better to have both). To have grit is to have a laser bean focus (specially on your weaknesses) to achieve what you desire, to get feedback from others and from yourself and use it to make adjustments to be more competent.
A terrific book with plenty of sound advices. Read it and share with others that the ultimate book of success has arrived.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Duckworth demonstrates her own grit by giving an expert performance narrating her own book. It's clear she put considerable work into learning to narrate effectively. She does a great job.
To me, this book has two distinct halves.
The first half is excellent and easily deserves 5 stars. She shows that a simple, self-reported test on people's willingness to stick with goals carries significantly more predictive power than more traditional predictors, such as SAT scores or athletic ability. I walked away from this section with an all new appreciation of how crucial it is for me to focus on a few, high-priority things in my own life if I ever want to achieve greatness. Her work here is based on sufficiently strong research that it forces the reader to rethink their assumptions about talent and accomplishment.
The second half is based less on research, and more on anecdotes. As a result, it reads a bit like a fluffy self-help book. The chapter on the importance of "purpose" to success is basically unsubstantiated. None of the testimonials prove that "purpose" is important to success because the people she interviews could equally just want to rationalize their story in a way that makes them feel good. While purpose may be important to some people, Duckworth failed to convince that pure self-interest would have been an insufficient motivator for plenty of the successful people she interviewed. Her interviews with investment bankers made me throw up in my mouth a bit.
It is also seems counter-productive to include purpose and passion in the definition of grit. The ability of people to push themselves through tasks they do not enjoy is itself an important, distinct quality to understand, and it would be valuable to have a word that refers specifically to that. I know that part of my own success rests on the fact that I have been willing to do unpleasant tasks that I felt no passion or purpose for, but which I felt were necessary. I have also felt passion and purpose for some goals, but lacked the grit to withstand the pain of putting in the effort to achieve them. Passion and purpose may indeed be motivators of grit, but to say they are part of it causes the term to lose its distinct meaning.
This book should perhaps be called "Persistence", of which grit, passion and purpose are three parts. As it stands, "Grit" is, in effect, defined by grit, passion and purpose. The fact that the term appears to be operating as part of its own definition shows that there is a conflation of concepts at play.
171 of 187 people found this review helpful