Title: Grit – The Power of Passion & Perseverance
Author: ©2016 Angela Duckworth
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Amazon Kindle e-book )
Attaining success and realizing lofty life and society transforming goals are not exclusively reserved for those we may consider naturally gifted trail-blazers. In her book, Professor Angela Duckworth explained that through the dint of endurance and persistently trying and trying again, the rest of us can break through our seeming limitations, failures and setbacks to realize our full potentials.
Irespective of what one may know and how talented one may be, “sticking-to-it” is what will ultimately win at the end of it all.
Rising from her seemingly untalented background to receiving a MacArthur Award for academic excellence, the author challenges us that “
what we eventually accomplish may depend more on our passion and perseverance than on our innate talent
Professor Angela Duckworth succinctly explained that resiliency, determination, hardwork backed up by a sense of direction are the most important factors that counts. For those who did not know it before, in the game of life, “zeal and hard work are ultimately more important than intellectual ability” or natural gifts. Without the grit of hard work, focus and persistence all the “natural talent” may eventually fizzle out. And that being the brightest will not automatically make you the best unless you add grit to it.
Most certainly, the author did not in any way despise talent or “natural flair.” And since what happens behind the scenes is mostly hidden from us most of the time, most of us will place our betting odds in favour of the talented. This book clearly explains that other factors equally count.
In the words of Professor Duckworth,
“Is talent a bad thing? Are we all equally talented? No and no. The ability to quickly climb the learning curve of any skill is obviously a very good thing, and, like it or not, some of us are better at it than others.
In my view, the biggest reason a preoccupation with talent can be harmful is simple: By shining our spotlight on talent, we risk leaving everything else in the shadows. We inadvertently send the message that these other factors—including grit—don’t matter as much as they really do.
But another conclusion is that the focus on talent distracts us from something that is at least as important, and that is effort. In the next chapter, I’ll argue that, as much as talent counts, effort counts twice.”
In the past, many of us have started worthwhile tasks or pursuits only to abandon them upon meeting the first obstacle or hindrance. This will convince us, in the words of the author, that, “
According to the author, “passion is not just that you have something you care about, but that you care about that same ultimate goal in an abiding, loyal, steady way. Being gritty means that you are not capricious. You wake up each day thinking of and seeking answers to the questions you fell asleep thinking about. Such a one is in a sense, pointing in the same direction, ever eager to take even the smallest step forward than to take a step to the side, toward some other destination. At the extreme, one might call your focus obsessive. Most of your actions derive their significance from their allegiance to your ultimate concern, your life philosophy. You have your priorities in order. Grit is about holding the same top-level goal for a very long time.”
• Interest: Passion begins with intrinsically enjoying what you do. Even though there are some aspects of your chores & pusuits, that are not “sweet”, you must sustain an abiding & persistent interest in that chosen pursuit to excel at the end.
• Practice: After you’ve discovered and developed interest in a particular area, you must devote yourself to the sort of focused, full-hearted, challenge-exceeding-skill practice that leads to mastery. You must zero in on your weaknesses, and you must do so over and over again, for hours a day, week after month and year after year. To be gritty is to resist complacency. No matter how excellent you already are, always strive to do better than you did yesterday. That is unrelenting practise.
• Purpose: For most people, interest without purpose is nearly impossible to sustain for a lifetime. It is therefore imperative that you identify your work as both personally interesting and, at the same time, integrally connected to the well-being of others. For a few, a sense of purpose dawns early, but for many, the motivation to serve others heightens after the development of interest and years of disciplined practice. The work you are doing must have importance to you and positively impact the lives of other people.
• Hope: Hope suffuses and binds every stage of the grit development process. Right from the onset to the very end, it is inestimably important to learn to keep going even when things are difficult, even when we have doubts. At various points, in big ways and small, we get knocked down. If we stay down, grit loses. If we get up, grit prevails
By putting the lessons here to heart and enunciating these same ideas to our youngsters, we will be on the pathway to realizing our fullest potentials. This is a book you will really wish you were opportuned to come across and read earlier on. So, do your youngsters a world of good by cajolling, begging, persuading or “bribing” them to read the book. Who knows, that your talented, trail-blazer will be doubly motivated to to imbue their skills with passion and perseverance and ultimately realize their ambitions.
Many people fail to attain worthwhile goals, not necessarily because they do not have the nascent or innate ability. They failed probably due to their lack of grit. So, we all need to go put some grit into our lives. Maybe that is just what you need to learn and master that latest programming language , turn out the next killer Androisdor iPhone app, finish that best seller of a novel or your part time degree program.More grit to your life.
“When I get knocked down, I’ll get back up. I may not be the smartest person in the room, but I’ll strive to be the grittiest for in the long run, grit may matter more than talent.”
“Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.”
“Time and energy are limited. Any successful person has to decide what to do in part by deciding what not to do.”
High but not the highest intelligence, combined with the greatest degree of persistence, will achieve greater eminence than the highest degree of intelligence with somewhat less persistence
— Catherine Cox
“Enlightening . . . Grit teaches that
life’s high peaks aren’t necessarily conquered by the naturally nimble but, rather, by those willing to endure, wait out the storm , and try again
—Ed Viesturs, seven-time climber of Mount Everest and author of No Shortcuts to the Top
“Invaluable . . . In a world where access to knowledge is unprecedented, this book describes the key trait of those who will optimally take advantage of it. Grit will inspire everyone who reads it to stick to something hard that they have a passion for.”
—Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy
“Much as talent counts, effort counts twice.
I love an idea that challenges our conventional wisdom and Grit does just that! Put aside what you think you know about getting ahead and outlasting your competition, even if they are more talented.
—Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last
NOTE: All quotes and brief excerpts are from the book:
Grit – The Power of Passion and Perseverance
©2016 Angela Duckworth