• Matthew Metcalfe

Grit - Is It Worth the Read? | Book Review

What's the Secret to Success? Find out in the book, "Grit".

Why do some people succeed and others fail?

Angela Duckworth, the daughter of a scientist, was told she was “no genius”. She wasn’t as smart as her father but she thought “was being smart all you needed to succeed?” Eager to find answers, she created a “character lab” to test her theory.

Is success only due to talent? Intelligence? What if there was more to the equation?

The Book in 3 Sentences

Entering the “talent vs. effort” discussion, Angela Duckworth puts her theory to the test. Research shows that dedicated effort or “grit” is far more important to achieve success than innate talent. Grit is about the perseverance and resilience to keep going even if you’ve failed thousands of times.

What You Will Learn from the Book

These are the main things Angela Duckworth discusses in the book. Some of these points are quotes and others are my personal learnings. Grit is a trait you can develop and grow using these 4 simple ways:

1. Develop a Fascination

What is one interest or pursuit that you could never get bored of? Can’t think of something? Look back to when you were a teenager, what fascinated you then? For me, it was this strong fascination to solve complex business problems. Remember - it looks different for everyone. Whatever it is, pursue it passionately and fiercely.

2. Daily Improvement

Aim to improve yourself every single day. Compete with who you were with yesterday. Don’t stop growing, always seek to improve.

3. Greater Purpose

Angela conducted a survey with 16,000 Americans to find out what contributed to grit. Was it pleasure or a greater purpose? People that had scored higher on the grit scale answered a greater purpose. It’s determining what purpose or greater meaning your work has.

4. Growth Mindset

If you’ve got a growth mindset, you’re not afraid of change. In fact, you’re agile and adaptable to circumstances or situations that set you back. Your abilities aren’t fixed and you can keep learning even as you get older.

Want to know if you have grit? Take this quiz to find out how gritty you are!

Top Quotes from the Book "Grit"

“Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

“Where talent counts once, effort counts twice.”

“Without effort, your skill is nothing more than what you could have done but didn’t.”

The Key Takeaways

The book begins by explaining grit and how you can develop it. Her theory is based on this equation:

“Talent x Effort = Skill” while “Skill + Effort = Achievement”. When you apply effort into any base level talent you get skill. But when you apply effort to skill you get achievement.

If you’re willing to put in the effort, you can achieve great things. Grit trumps talent. This means we can be hopeful that we can become more than we think we can.

Being gritty is hard. It’s not the easy way route. You have to be persistent and resilient to whatever setbacks come your way.

Who Should Read Grit?

Are you a parent, teacher, athlete, student or business person? “Grit” is for the everyday person who wants to harness the power of persistence and passion.

Don’t have time to read the book? Watch Angela’s TED Talk here (it’s worth it)!

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