52 in 52 Book Summaries

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

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Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth


The Essence

An in-depth look at the psychology of talent, effort, and achievement. Psychologist Angela Duckworth examines what characteristics are correlated with achievement. Her findings observe that it is not just being talented that counts, but a blend of passion and perseverance; what she calls Grit. Talent tends to be a distraction from more informative variables when considering goal attainment. Overtime, it is consistently accomplishing micro-goals that are strategically related to larger goals that drive us forward.

Grit Journal Entry Notes:

This is my book summary of Grit. My notes are a reflection of the journal write up above. Written informally, the notes contain a mesh and mix of quotes and my own thoughts on the book. Sometimes, to my own fault, quotes are interlaced with my own words. Though rest assured, I am not attempting to take any credit for the main ideas below. The Journal write up includes important messages and crucial passages from the book.

Finding your way to trigger your interests.

Begin with the answer you’re surest of and build from there
Don’t be afraid to guess
don’t be afraid to erase an answer that isn’t working.

• Grit is about working on something you care so much about that you’re willing to stay loyal to it.
• Growth Mindset >>>>Optimistic Self-talk >>>>> Perseverance Over Adversity.

Parable of the bricklayers...

Three bricklayers are asked: “What are you doing?”

The first says, “I am laying bricks.”

The second says, “I am building a church.”

The third says, “I am building the house of God.”

The first bricklayer has a job. The second has a career. The third has a calling

• Interpret failure as a cue to try harder
• We are, by nature, neophiles. That meaning, we are drawn to novelty.
• “our potential is one thing. What we do with it is quite another.”
• On giving up. Consider your goal hierarchy. Give up when one low-level goal can be swapped for another that is more feasible.
• Goal Hierarchy: The more unified, aligned and coordinated our goal hierarchies, the better.
• Some goals are only a means to an end of larger more abstract foals. Everything you do should stem to yield results for a higher goal.
• “it’s not important that I understand everything. It’s important that I listen”
• Enthusiasm = Common
• Endurance = Rare
• Greatest is doable. Many individual feats, each of them doable = Greatness. High performance is, in fact, an accretion of mundane acts.
• Consistency of efforts over the long run is everything.
• “It’s all about in the moment self-awareness without judgement. It’s about relieving yourself of the judgement that gets in the what of enjoying the challenge” Get out of your own way.
• EFFORT COUNTS TWICE: talent multiplied by effort is skill. But Skill multiplied by effort is achievement.
• Effort build skills and makes skill productive.
• Compete means, to strive together in Latin.
• Corresponsive Principle: The situation to which people gravitate tend to enhance the very characteristics that brought us there in the first place.
• When we can’t easily see how experience and training got someone to a level of excellence that is so clearly beyond the norm, we default to labeling that person ‘Natural’. Stay focused, Talent is merely a distraction.
• Persistence eventually delivers rewards.
• “To me, any success I’ve had, it’s because I love to share. There’s no reserve in me- whatever I have, I’m willing to give to you or anyone else”
• When you have setbacks and failures, you cannot overreact to them. You need to step back, analyze them, and learn from them. But you also MUST stay optimistic; work hard and learn.
• It’s progress just clarifying your goals, and the extent to which they are—or aren’t—aligned towards a single passion of supreme importance. It’s also progress to better understand how well you’re currently able to preserve in the face of rejection.
• Figuring out the overarching vision is of utmost importance.
• Research shows that people are more satisfied with their jobs when they do something that fits their personal interest. Further, they also perform better.
• Passion for your work is a little bit of discovery, followed by a lot of development, and then a lifetime of deepening.
• Interests are not discovered through introspection. Instead, interests are triggered by interactions with the outside world.
• “Even when learning is hard, it is not bitter when you feel it is worth having, that you can master it, that practicing what you learned will express who you are and help achieve what you desire.” –Csikszentmihalyi

• Leaders and employees who keep both personal and prosocial interest in mind do better in the long run than those who are 100% selfishly motivated.
• The hope that gritty people have has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with getting up again…I resolve to make tomorrow better.
• Optimist habitually search for temporary and specific cause of their suffering.
• If you experience adversity that you overcome on your own during your youth, you develop a different way of dealing with adversity later on.

• We change when we need to. Necessity is the mother of adaptation.
• ALL of us are parents to young people other than our own children in the sense that collectively, we are responsible for ‘bringing forth’ the next generation.
• Following through is evidence for the merits of Purposeful continuous commitment to a certain type of activity vs. sporadic effort in diverse areas.
• Whether we realize it or not, the Culture in which we live in, and which we identify, powerfully shapes just about every aspect of our being.
• Define Genius as working towards excellence ceaselessly with every element in your being.

• “When I am around people, my heart and soul radiate with the awareness that I am in the presence of greatness. Maybe greatness unfound, or greatness underdeveloped, but the potential or existence of greatness, nevertheless. You never know who will go on to do good or even great things or become the next great influencer in the world. So treat everyone like they are that person.”

If you liked what you saw. Here are 3 titles that I recommend based on what was discussed in Grit.

  1. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
  2. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
  3. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Find the book on Amazon: Print | Audio

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