Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

Angela Duckworth is at the University of Pennsylvania and she spent the last decade exploring the concept of GRIT.

What is GRIT? Passion + Perseverance

The author is using data by looking at:

  • US military
  • Sports
  • Business & education
  • Psychology

We put too much emphasis on talent, and not enough on passion and perseverance.

Key Components of Grit

  • passion
  • perseverance

We all have a natural talent within.We all make the mistake of mythologizing the idea of talent.That is because this acts as a mental shortcut, an excuse.We do not have the do the hard work ourselves.

Our vanity, our self-love, promotes the cult of the genius,” Nietzsche said. “For if we think of genius as something magical, we are not obliged to compare ourselves and find ourselves lacking


Talent X Effort = SkillSkill X Effort = Achievement

Achievement = Talent X Effort X Effort

Achievement = Talent X Effort²

Talent is important. But effort counts more.

Things Successful People Have in Common

  • resilience
  • hard work
  • belief and knowledge about what they want

4 Components of GRIT that we can work on:


  • interest
  • purpose


  • practice (preferably deliberate daily practice)
  • hopeOne can take a look at the Japanese concept of Kaizen, a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency etc.

Deliberate practice

  • a clearly defined stretch goal
  • full concentration & effort
  • immediate & informative feedback
  • repetition with reflection & refinement

Grit Survey of 16,000 American Adults found that all the participants had the same pleasure from the work they were doing, but the people with higher GRIT had more purpose.Find a way to convince yourself that the work you are doing is indeed higher purpose.

How can you do it?

  1. reflect on how the work you are already doing
  2. think about how in small but meaningful ways we can change our current work to enhance it's connection to our core values
  3. try to find inspiration in a purposeful role model

You’re a node in a network, of course that’s even more true now that we have social media.

You’ll know 1,000 people at least over the course of your life and they’ll know 1,000 people each and that puts you one person away from a million and two persons away from a billion.

That’s how you’re connected and the things you do, they’re like dropping a stone in a pond, the ripples move outward and they affect things in ways that you can’t fully comprehend and it means that the things that you do and that you don’t do are far more important than you think.

Forget about the idea that your abilities might be fixed. Instead, you should embrace the growth mindset.

Fixed Mindset = Pessimistic Explanations of Adversity

Growth Mindset = Perseverance & Seeking New Challenges

How to GROW the GRIT from the Inside

  1. Cultivate your interests.
  2. Engage in challenging practices
  3. Link your work to a higher purpose
  4. Cultivate a growth mindset

Passion for your work is a little bit of DISCOVERY followed by a lot of DEVELOPMENT and then a lifetime of DEEPENING.