The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Book - 2016
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Why do some people succeed and others fail? Sharing new insights from her landmark research on grit, MacArthur genius grant recipient Angela Duckworth explains why talent is hardly a guarantor of success. Rather, other factors can be even more crucial, such as identifying our passions and following through on our commitments. Drawing on her own story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently bemoaned her lack of smarts, Duckworth describes her winding path through teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not "genius" but a special blend of passion and long-term perseverance. As a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Duckworth created her own "character lab" and set out to test her theory. Here, she takes readers into the field to visit teachers working in some of the toughest schools, cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee. Finally, she shares what she's learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers -- from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to Bob Mankoff, cartoon editor of The New Yorker, to Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll. Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that -- not talent or luck -- makes all the difference.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Scribner,, 2016
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition
Description: xv, 333 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781501111105
Branch Call Number: 158.1 Duc
Additional Contributors: Duckworth, Angela. Grit


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Oct 05, 2020

Generally, I agree with the Theory of Grit. I believe in (smart) hard work and grit is a way to choose to be better at something. I think the nature argument defines the range of what's possible and the nurture argument determines where we fall in that range. And therefore, grit is a combination of both nature and nurture. I do think the ability the grind away at something for a lengthy time, to persevere, is partly a matter of nature even though the opposite is what feels right.

Another point, the author's resume of high quality schools, awards, credentials and jobs almost undoes her grit argument entirely. It's like she's saying that, yes, grit is what counts but you need these other qualifiers first. It's a false assumption, but an impatient reader might not figure that out before giving up.

Jun 22, 2020

Life is hard; why don’t we just quit? How did successful people get to where they are? Surely it wasn’t pure luck? Grit by Angela Lee Duckworth is an empowering and enlightening book, with many crisp replies to tired questions as the ones above. Grit, by definition, is the “power of passion and perseverance” and, according to many scientific studies, the most “significant predictor of success.” It was incredibly interesting—and satisfying—to read the author debunk a lie we’re constantly telling ourselves: “I believe effort matters more than talent.” The lie is not the sentence itself, but the “I believe” part. Sayings that value effort over talent are ubiquitous, but when it comes down to our involuntary judgments, we all value talent over effort. And after all, how could we not? We’re human, and we can’t help admiring talent. We are “distracted by talent.” Grit is neatly structured into three parts: what grit is, growing grit from the inside out, and growing grit from the outside in. Duckworth concisely explores the contributing factors in our lives of grit, which are anything but simple and straightforward. She does so with the aid of strongly supported studies and explanations of the psychology accompanying mental processes. Sensitively portraying the deeply ingrained, potentially dangerous mindset in our society that effort doesn’t matter, Grit is an eye-opening, powerful, and motivating must-read. @StarRead of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

CarleeMcDot May 14, 2019

I had seen some of my friends reading this book so I thought I'd grab it from the library. As with most books, the only thing I really knew about the book was the title (and that friends enjoyed it). The premise of the book is that the "secret" behind achievement is not necessarily talent, but a mix of passion and persistence (which she calls "grit"). The author is a researcher so the book is filled with quite a bit of data and research, but I didn't feel as though it was boring or hard to get through. Some of the points she made weren't rocket science (people who like the task that they are doing tend to do it better than people who don't or hard work and perseverance can overcome a lack of talent), but the book did a great job at putting everything together to see how it relates to success. Angela (and her research) believes that someone's "grit score" has the power to predict who will stick with something and see it through till the end. She believes you can grow your grit either from the inside out (by cultivating interests, practicing, finding a deeper purpose and getting back up when you've been knocked down) or from the outside in (with the help of a supportive environment and culture). I felt as though this book was equal parts informative and motivating - although at times I felt like some of the information could have been streamlined or cut shorter and it would have still made its point. If you don't have the time to read the book, I'd suggest watching Angela's six minute TED talk because it touches on most of the research presented in the book. I would give it a 7 out of 10.

Gina_Vee May 01, 2019

I liked this book because it had some insightful research on grit. However, I think towards the end of the book, I either started to tune out or lose interest.

Apr 30, 2019

An interesting read with some provocative thoughts. I found the final section to fall flat and this was the section I most looked forward to.

Dec 24, 2018

I love this book. Thanks to my friend who gave this book to me. I believe that every one who reads this book will learn some actionable idea to apply to what you are doing right now. If you are looking for a way to transform yourself to become "that person" you are hoping for, you have to read this book. For all the parents out there, Chapter 10 is a must.

Jan 16, 2018

One of the most moving self-help books I've ever read. Angela Duckworth has made me feel that all dreams are possible, and not only that, but a method to making them so. Every page of this book felt like a revelation, in an applicable, concrete way. Loved it!

Cynthia_N Nov 10, 2017

Quite an interesting book! And it just made so much sense. It often takes more than just talent or desire to be successful during the hard times or even to just continue on during the hard times. Some of the studies she refers to had me concerned... one where dogs are shocked randomly and one where young children watch adults play with toys and then beat a doll?! Overall though a good read!

Jul 07, 2017

The book is a really nice read.

Message of the book is really "simple" and is not something new. Having said that, Author's passion for the subject and the scientific data explaining a known concept is really a treat.

In general I recommend it to everyone and definitely recommend it to the School going kids.

ser_library Apr 22, 2017

interesting book with one point, and many examples. It was a quick read for me.

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