Grit: The Power of Passion and Perserverance is the book that I have chosen for the month of September. Pioneering researcher and psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.” I have observed that talent and intelligence can only take you so far – it’s up to you to find the “grit” deep inside you to see you across the finish line.
Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of “genius,” Duckworth describes her eye-opening stints in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not “genius” but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance.
In Grit, she takes readers into the field to visit cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, teachers working in some of the toughest schools, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee. She also mines fascinating insights from history and what can be gleaned from modern experiments in peak performance. Finally, she shares what she’s learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers.
Among Grit’s most valuable insights:
- Why any effort you make ultimately counts twice toward your goal
- How grit can be learned, regardless of I.Q. or circumstances
- Which is better for your child—a warm embrace or high standards
Angela Duckworth, PhD, is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow and professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She has advised the White House, the World Bank, NBA and NFL teams, and Fortune 500 CEOs. She is also the Founder and Scientific Director of the Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance the science and practice of character development. She completed her BA in neurobiology at Harvard, her MSc in neuroscience at Oxford, and her PhD in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perserverance can be purchased here.