Grit

The Power of Passion and Perseverance
by Angela Duckworth | 352 pages

Angela Duckworth is the world’s leading authority on the science of grit. In fact, she pioneered the field and, as Daniel Gilbert says on the cover: “Psychologists have spent decades searching for the secret of success, but Duckworth is the one who found it.” In this Note, we explore the two facets of grit (hint: passion + perseverance, why they’re important and how to cultivate them.


“Why were the highly accomplished so dogged in their pursuits? For most, there was no realistic expectation of ever catching up to their ambitions. In their own eyes, they were never good enough. They were the opposite of complacent. And yet, in a very real sense, they were satisfied with being unsatisfied. Each was chasing something of unparalleled interest and importance, and it was the chase—as much as the capture—that was gratifying. Even if some of the things they had to do were boring, or frustrating, or even painful, they wouldn’t dream of giving up. Their passion was enduring.

In sum, no matter the domain, the highly successful had a kind of ferocious determination that played out in two ways. First, these exemplars were unusually resilient and hardworking. Second, they knew in a very, very deep way what it was they wanted. They not only had determination, they had direction.

It was this combination of passion and perseverance that made high achievers special. In a word, they had grit.”

~ Angela Duckworth from Grit

Angela Duckworth is the world’s leading authority on the science of grit. In fact, she pioneered the field and, as Daniel Gilbert says on the cover: “Psychologists have spent decades searching for the secret of success, but Duckworth is the one who found it.”

What is grit?

In essence: It’s the combination of intense passion + intense perseverance toward a long-term goal that matters to you.

In this great book, Angela connects her research to a bunch of the other positive psychology luminaries we feature—ranging from Martin Seligman (her mentor at Penn) and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi to Anders Ericsson, Gabrielle Oettingen, Carol Dweck.

Plus, she shares a bunch of inspiring stories about grit paragons while walking us through the key aspects of grit and teaching us how we can cultivate grit in our lives and in the lives of those we love and lead.

This is one of those books that I think is a MUST READ if you’re serious about optimizing + actualizing while helping others do the same. It’s my new favorite for 2016. I think you’ll really love it. (Get a copy here.)

As you can imagine, the book is packed with a bunch of Big Ideas. I’m excited to share a handful of my favorites we can apply to our lives today so let’s jump in!

P.S. You may have already seen Angela’s TED Talk. If not, check it out here!

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About the author

Authors

Angela Duckworth

Professor at the University of PA, founder of the Character Lab, author of Grit.